During the 2020 COVID-19 wave, the Australian Government made an additional $550 Coronavirus Supplement available for people receiving social security payments, and temporarily suspended mutual obligation requirements. By doing so, the government effectively gave people who had been long stigmatised and subject to punitive conditionality to compel them into the labour market, financial security and their time back. Drawing on survey responses from people who received the $550 Supplement and had their mutual obligation activities suspended or reduced, this research examines how people used their time during this period and whether it differed from pre-pandemic government policy. We find that the increase in payments through the Supplement and the suspension of mutual obligations impacted positively on people's lives including the (1) the ability of respondents to meet basic needs and improve their long-term financial security, (2) improvements to physical and emotional well-being, (3) increased labour market engagement and (4) engagement in other forms of unpaid productive work.
|Pages (from-to)||p. 51-69|
|Journal||Australian Journal of Social Issues|
|Publication status||Published - 2021|