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Family and Community Services Legislation Amendment (Australians Working Together and other 2001 Budget Measures) Bill 2003

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2722

2002

 

The Parliament of the

Commonwealth of Australia

 

THE SENATE

 

 

 

 

 

Family and Community Services Legislation Amendment (Australians Working Together and other 2001 Budget Measures) Bill 2002

 

 

(1)     Schedule 1, before item 15, page 19 (after line 15), insert:

14A  At the end of section 541A

Add:

    541A(2)  The Secretary must not determine that a person has failed to take reasonable steps to comply with the terms of an activity test unless the Secretary:

                     (a)  h as established that the terms of the agreement are such that it will improve the prospects of the person gaining paid employment; and

                     (b)  has made reasonable attempts to contact the person in relation to the requirement to comply with the terms of the activity test; and

                     (c)  has had regard to the reasons, if any, provided by the person for not complying with the terms of the activity test; and

                     (d)  has had regard to the support in place to enable the person to take the steps provided for in this section.

[factors to consider before determining failure to comply]

(2)     Schedule 1, page 20 (after line 13), after item 21, insert:

21A  Subsection 544B(4)

Repeal the subsection, substitute:

    544B(4)  I n having regard to a person’s capacity to comply with the terms of a participation agreement and the person’s needs and his or her child’s or children’s needs, the Secretary is to take into account, but is not limited to the following matters:

                     (a)  the person’s education, experience, skills, age, disability or illness, mental and physical condition; and

                     (b)  the state of the local labour market and transport in the area where the person and the child or children live; and

                     (c)  the participation opportunities available to the person and any barriers to employment arising from matters listed in paragraph (a); and

                     (d)  the family and caring responsibilities of the person, including the needs and interests of the child or children and the support services available; and

                     (e)  current court proceedings in the Family Court or criminal courts or current child welfare concerns, such as drugs or school truanting; and

                      (f)  the length of travel time required to participate; and

                     (g)  the financial costs of compliance, such as travel costs, and the capacity to pay for such compliance; and

                     (h)  any other matters that the Secretary or the person considers relevant in the circumstances.

[factors for compliance]

(3)     Schedule 1, page 20 (after line 13), after item 21, insert:

21B  After subsection 544B(4)

Insert:

Cooling-off period

544B(4A)  The terms of the agreement:

                     (a)  may be varied by the person with the approval of the Secretary within 14 days of the terms of the agreement being approved;

                     (b)  the Secretary must give notice to the person of his or her rights in accordance with paragraph (a) at the time of approving the agreement.

[cooling-off period]

(4)     Schedule 1, page 20 (after line 25), after item 24, insert:

24A  Subparagraph 544C(1)(b)(iii)

After “agree to”, insert “the reasonable”.

[terms of agreement]

(5)     Schedule 1, page 20 (after line 25), after item 24, insert:

24A  Subsection 550C(2)

Repeal the subsection, substitute:

             (2)  Subject to subsection (3), the participation agreement breach non-payment period starts 14 days after the day on which the notice is given to the person.

[requirement for notice]

(6)     Schedule 1, page 20 (after line 30), after item 26, insert:

26A  Subsection 557B(2)

Repeal the subsection, substitute:

             (2)  Subject to subsection (3), the participation agreement breach non-payment period starts 14 days after the day on which the notice is given to the person.

[requirement for notice]

(7)     Schedule 1, page 20 (after line 30), after item 26, insert:

26B  Subsection 558B(2)

Repeal the subsection, substitute:

             (2)  Subject to subsection (3), the participation agreement breach non-payment period starts 14 days after the day on which the notice is given to the person.

[requirement for notice]

(8)     Schedule 1, page 21 (after line 11), after item 30, insert:

30A  After subsection 626(1)

Insert:

    626(1A)  The Secretary must not determine that a person has failed to take reasonable steps to comply with the terms of an activity test unless the Secretary:

                     (a)  h as established that the terms of the agreement are such that it will improve the prospects of the person gaining paid employment; and

                     (b)  has made reasonable attempts to contact the person in relation to the requirement to comply with the terms of the activity test; and

                     (c)  has had regard to the reasons, if any, provided by the person for not complying with the terms of the activity test; and

                     (d)  has had regard to the support in place to enable the person to take the steps provided for in this section.

[factors to consider before determining failure to comply]

(9)     Schedule 1, page 21 (after line 11), after item 30, insert:

30B  Subsection 630B(2)

Repeal the subsection, substitute:

             (2)  Subject to subsection (3), the participation agreement breach non-payment period starts 14 days after the day on which the notice is given to the person.

[requirement for notice]

(10)   Schedule 1, page 21 (after line 11), after item 30, insert:

30B  Subsection 644AB(2)

Repeal the subsection, substitute:

             (2)  Subject to section 644AC, the activity breach rate reduction period commences 14 days after the day on which notice is given to the person.

[requirement for notice]

(11)   Schedule 1, page 21 (after line 28), after item 34, insert:

34A  Subsection 644C(2)

Repeal the subsection, substitute:

             (2)  Subject to subsection (3), the participation agreement breach non-payment period starts 14 days after the day on which the notice is given to the person.

[requirement for notice]