Work Refusal Failures and Unemployment Failures

Under the Targeted Compliance Framework (TCF), there are consequences for Participants if they commit a Work Refusal Failure or an Unemployment Failure. A Participant commits a Work Refusal Failure when they refuse or fail to accept an offer of suitable Employment. A Participant commits an Unemployment Failure when they become unemployed either:

  • as a direct or indirect result of a voluntary act (unless Services Australia is satisfied that the voluntary act was reasonable); or
  • as a result of their misconduct as an employee.
  • Broadly speaking, if a Participant commits:
  • a Work Refusal Failure, their Income Support Payment may be suspended and will be cancelled if they do not have a Reasonable Excuse; or
  • an Unemployment Failure, their Income Support Payment will be cancelled.
  • If a Participant’s Income Support Payment is cancelled, then it cannot be paid for four weeks.
  • These penalties reinforce the principles that:
  • Income Support Payments for Participants should only be available to those who are genuine in their efforts to move into paid work; and
  • where Participants gain Employment, they must take all reasonable steps to remain in the workforce, and reduce their reliance and need for an Income Support Payment.

This Guideline does not apply to ParentsNext Providers.

Creation Date
Modified date
File Reference
Department of Education, Skills and Employment
Department of Education, Skills and Employment
English / Australian English

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