Social Security (Benefit Categories and Work Focus) Amendment Act 2013

  • repealed
  • Social Security (Benefit Categories and Work Focus) Amendment Act 2013: repealed, on 26 November 2018, pursuant to section 455(1) of the Social Security Act 2018 (2018 No 32).

Social obligations of certain beneficiaries with dependent children

26 New sections 60RA to 60RC inserted

After section 60R (as replaced on 15 October 2012 by section 40 of the Social Security (Youth Support and Work Focus) Amendment Act 2012), insert:

60RA Social obligations of certain beneficiaries with dependent children

(1)

This section applies to a person if the person—

(a)

is a person with 1 or more dependent children; and

(b)

is the person granted a benefit that is jobseeker support, sole parent support, a supported living payment, or an emergency benefit, or is the spouse or partner of (whether or not receiving all or any of the benefit instead of, or as well as) that person; and

(c)

is not a young person on whom obligations are placed under section 171(1) or (2).

(2)

A dependent child (as defined in section 3(1)) of a person granted a benefit described in subsection (1)(b) is (despite section 3) for the purposes of this section and of all related provisions in this Act (for example, for the purposes of section 60RC) also a dependent child of that person’s spouse or partner (if any).

(3)

A person to whom this section applies has the following social obligations:

(a)

to take all reasonable steps to ensure that every dependent child aged 3 years or more but less than 5 years and who is not enrolled at and regularly attending a registered school (as defined in section 2(1) of the Education Act 1989) is—

(i)

enrolled in a recognised early childhood education programme (as defined in section 60RAB(1)); and

(ii)

attending that programme to the minimum extent prescribed, or otherwise in the manner prescribed, for the purposes of this subparagraph by regulations made under section 132; and

(b)

to take all reasonable steps to ensure that every dependent child aged 5 years or more but less than 6 years, and who is not a dependent child in respect of whom the person would qualify for an exemption from some or all of the person’s work test obligations on the active teaching out of school grounds in section 60RAB(2), is—

(i)

enrolled in a recognised early childhood education programme (as defined in section 60RAB(1)) and attending that programme to the minimum extent prescribed, or otherwise in the manner prescribed, for the purposes of this subparagraph by regulations made under section 132; or

(ii)

enrolled at a registered school (as defined in section 2(1) of the Education Act 1989) and regularly attending that registered school; and

(c)

to take all reasonable steps to ensure that every dependent child aged 6 years or more but less than 16 years is (except insofar as the child is excepted or exempted from the requirements of sections 20 and 25 of the Education Act 1989)—

(i)

enrolled at a registered school (as defined in section 2(1) of that Act); and

(ii)

regularly attending that registered school; and

(d)

to take all reasonable steps to ensure that every dependent child is enrolled with a primary health care provider (for example, a primary health organisation, or a medical practitioner whose scope of practice is or includes general practice); and

(e)

to take all reasonable steps to ensure that every dependent child under the age of 5 years is up to date with core checks (as defined in section 60RAB(4)) under—

(i)

the programme that immediately before 15 July 2013 was known as Well Child; or

(ii)

any similar programme established in its place; and

(f)

when required by the chief executive, to attend and participate in any interview with an officer of the department or other person on behalf of the chief executive; and

(g)

when required by the chief executive, to report to the department or to any other person acting on behalf of the chief executive on the person’s compliance with the person’s social obligations as often as, and in the manner that, the chief executive reasonably requires.

60RAB Social obligations: definitions, work test obligations exemption grounds, and regulations

(1)

Recognised early childhood education programme, in section 60RA and this section, means—

(a)

an approved early childhood education programme (as defined for the purposes of section 60RA(3) in regulations made under section 132AC); or

(b)

an early childhood education programme approved by the chief executive having regard to all relevant approval criteria (if any) prescribed for the purposes of this paragraph in any general or special directions given to the chief executive in writing by the Minister under section 5; or

(c)

a programme of early childhood education provided by a school that is currently designated under section 152(1) of the Education Act 1989 as a correspondence school.

(2)

The active teaching out of school grounds mentioned in section 60RA(3)(b) on which a person to whom section 60RA applies would qualify for an exemption from some or all of the person’s work test obligations in respect of a dependent child (aged 5 years or more but less than 6 years) of the person, are the grounds specified in—

(a)

regulation 6(2)(c) of the Social Security (Exemptions under Section 105) Regulations 1998; or

(b)

an enactment that, with or without modification, replaces, or that corresponds to, that enactment.

(3)

Regulations made under section 132 that prescribe, for the purposes of section 60RA(3)(a)(ii) and (b)(i), the minimum extent of, or other required manner of, attending a recognised early childhood education programme may, without limitation,—

(a)

prescribe, for all or any recognised early childhood programmes, target numbers of hours of attendance:

(b)

prescribe different minimum numbers of hours of attendance for all or any different recognised early childhood programmes.

(4)

Core check, for a child and a programme to which section 60RA(3)(e) applies, means a check—

(a)

of the child’s health and well-being; and

(b)

done under, and identified in contract or funding arrangements as an essential part of, the programme; and

(c)

funded, directly or indirectly, through Vote Health.

60RB Social obligations: department must explain requirements

The chief executive must take reasonable and appropriate steps to make every beneficiary who has social obligations under section 60RA(3) aware of—

(a)

the beneficiary’s social obligations under section 60RA(3); and

(b)

the consequences of failure to comply with them.

60RC Social obligations: sanctions for failures to comply

(1)

A beneficiary who fails without good and sufficient reason to comply with a social obligation is, except as provided in subsections (2) and (3), subject to the sanctions in section 117.

(2)

A beneficiary’s failure to comply with the social obligation in section 60RA(3)(c) (which relates to specified dependent children being enrolled at and regularly attending a registered school) cannot be the subject of sanctions under section 117 if that failure is the subject of a prosecution commenced against the beneficiary, and not withdrawn before it is finally determined, for an offence against—

(a)

section 24(1) of the Education Act 1989 (failure to enrol); or (as the case requires)

(b)

section 29(1) of the Education Act 1989 (irregular attendance).

(3)

Before giving the beneficiary a notice under section 113, and imposing a sanction under section 117, for a beneficiary’s failure to comply with a social obligation under section 60RA(3), the chief executive must first be satisfied that, on at least 3 previous occasions, the department has had communication (of any kind, and in any manner) with the beneficiary in respect of the beneficiary’s compliance with, or an actual or potential failure of the beneficiary to comply with, any social obligation of the beneficiary.

(4)

This subsection applies to a beneficiary on whom sanctions in section 117 have been imposed in respect of a failure by the beneficiary without good and sufficient reason to comply with a social obligation.

(5)

The chief executive may give a beneficiary to whom subsection (4) applies a notice (to be delivered in accordance with section 86J) to the effect that the department is to intensify its case management support in respect of the beneficiary.

(6)

A beneficiary to whom a notice under subsection (5) has been delivered in accordance with section 86J must, when required by the chief executive, attend and participate in any interview with an officer of the department.