The following is from the jobactive: Mutual Obligation Requirements (including Annual Activity Requirements) Guidelines (effective 01/10/2015).
Job Providers MUST consider a Principal Carer Parent’s (PCP), family and caring responsibilities, including the availability of child care.
Face-to-face Provider Appointments and participation in activities SHOULD typically be scheduled during school hours (that is, generally BETWEEN 9AM AND 3PM DURING SCHOOL TERMS) unless it is otherwise agreed by the PCP.
PCPs need to continue to meet their part-time Mutual Obligation Requirements at all other times and during school holidays. However, Providers MUST consider whether the PCP can access appropriate care and supervision for their children during this time.
If the PCP is required to undertake an activity but is unable to obtain suitable child care, they will have a Valid Reason or Reasonable Excuse to not undertake that activity.
If the PCP has a Valid Reason or Reasonable Excuse, alternative requirements need to be set to enable the job seeker to meet their Mutual Obligation Requirements. For example, while PCPs are not required to attend face-to-face Provider Appointments during school holidays, they are required to engage with Providers through other means, such as by telephone. Job Search is also something that PCPs can undertake from their homes while they are caring for children on school holidays.
It is important to point out here, that it is stated that Face-to-Face appointments should be carried out during the school term UNLESS OTHERWISE AGREED (it is your choice, they can not enforce this on you) – school holidays occur BETWEEN TERMS.
Outside of School Hours Care, such as Vacation Care, can prove to be costly, even when the Child Care Rebate is applied, that additional few dollars per day is an out of pocket expense. This is one thing when you are attending employment and earning an income, but if it is to attend a Work for the Dole Activity, it is a cost that, in most cases, can not be afforded.
Keep in mind – Work for the Dole Activities are not to cause financial hardship on an individual!
Your provider can allow a break over the school holiday period, however your completion date of the Work for the Dole Activity would also be extended by the same period.
The following is an extract from the Guide to Social Security Law in relation to Breaks in activities – Section 18.104.22.168
There is no need to adjust a job seeker's requirements if they have a break of less than or equal to 4 weeks that is outside their control. If the break is greater than 4 weeks then the job seeker is required to undertake other suitable activities such as job search, for the period of the break. The Job Plan should be revised to include the adjusted requirements
To me, this implies that, if you are the Principal carer of a child/children you are not required to participate in Work for the Dole Activities that occur outside of school hours (as already defined). An approved break can be applied to your participation and your completion date extended by the same amount of time of the break.
Once again, this is based on my understanding and interpretation of the Employment Services Deed 2015-2020, the Guidelines to Social Security Law and my extensive experience working in the Employment Services Industry. Any information used that I have provided, is at your own volition. All my information is checked for currency and accuracy against these mentioned resources.