Skip to content
CharitiesAidWelfare, Political

Government response to employment services reform blueprint fails to respond to serious harm

ACOSS 2 mins read

Media release | Friday, 5 July 2024

Seven months after the Hill Report provided a blueprint for root and branch reform of the employment services system, the Government’s response has failed to address the harm people experience and the urgent need for change.

“The current employment services model is inflicting serious harm while failing to help 900,000 people who are unemployed find work,” ACOSS CEO Dr Cassandra Goldie said.  

“While changes outlined in the May budget offered small steps in the right direction, the government has failed to take urgent action to prevent harm or provide a clear plan for badly needed reform. Today’s response is deeply disappointing.

“Nearly two-thirds of people affected have had to rely on income support for more than a year – a sign employment services aren’t working."

ACOSS will continue to seek firm commitments from the Government to end automated payment suspensions, create an independent body to lift standards, invest in a much larger national wage subsidy and work experience scheme and establish a national council made up of people using employment services to advise the Minister on reforms. 

Dr Goldie said: “Automated payment suspensions repeat the failures of robodebt and should be scrapped immediately, alongside punitive and ineffective programs like Work for the Dole.

“Decisions affecting someone’s income support should involve public servants who follow a fair process taking into account a person’s circumstances.

“In the three months to December, 259,000 people were threatened with the loss of income support. Employment services went on to suspend the payments of 193,000 people. 

“People were often cut off for trivial reasons such as missing appointments they didn’t know about. About one in four (24%) identified as First Nations. People with a disability (27%) were also disproportionately affected. 

“An independent quality assurance body to oversee providers, including people directly affected, is essential to ensure accountability.

“Large scale vocational training and wage subsidy programs – and partnerships between governments, providers and local community services – are also needed to help people who are unemployed long-term to find paid work. 

“The lack of progress on key recommendations after seven months is disappointing. The government’s response lacks the substance and ambition needed to ensure employment services work for those who rely on them.

“We also cannot expect people to afford the essentials of life or find work when they are languishing below the poverty line. It’s vital the government lift the rate of JobSeeker and related income support payments to at least the pension rate of $78 a day.”


Contact details:

Georgie Moore
0477 779 928

More from this category

  • CharitiesAidWelfare
  • 16/07/2024
  • 15:41
The Estée Lauder Companies Inc.

Introducing BEAUTY&YOU India 2024: Fueling Innovation in the Indian Beauty Landscape

Created by ELC’s NIV and launched in partnership with NYKAA, BEAUTY&YOU India enters its third year focused on Supercharged Futures in the Indian Beauty…

  • Contains:
  • Agriculture Farming Rural, Political
  • 16/07/2024
  • 12:30
Farmers for Climate Action

Farmers welcome carbon capture ban recommendations

Farmers welcome carbon capture ban recommendations Tuesday, 16 July, 2024 Senate Environment and Communications References Committee recommends ban on carbon capture storage across the Great Artesian Basin Basin provides water for farmers across huge areas of our continent The Senate Committee recommended updating “water trigger” legislation so the effects of all CCS projects on vital groundwater are assessed Farmers for Climate Action has welcomed strong recommendations from the Senate Environment and Communications References Committee on carbon capture and storage, following US coal giant Glencore’s attempt to store coal waste underground in the Great Artesian Basin. The Great Artesian Basin or…

  • CharitiesAidWelfare, Disability
  • 16/07/2024
  • 10:01
Our Watch and Women with Disabilities Victoria

Strengthening supports for women with disability experiencing violence

New resources and a framework are being launched today which aim to prevent women and girls with disabilities from experiencing violence. National violence prevention organisation Our Watch, has partnered with Women with Disabilities Victoria (WDV) to develop the resources which seek to improve access, equality and respect for women with disabilities using frontline services. The new tools are for primary prevention services and frontline staff working with people with disabilities, including those delivering services through the National Disability Insurance Scheme. A new Framework for Action is also being launched to support governments to put prevention evidence into actionable policy. Our…

Media Outreach made fast, easy, simple.

Feature your press release on Medianet's News Hub every time you distribute with Medianet. Pay per release or save with a subscription.