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Social Services Legislation Amendment (Youth Employment and Other Measures) Bill 2015

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2013-2014-2015

 

 

 

 

THE PARLIAMENT OF THE COMMONWEALTH OF AUSTRALIA

 

 

 

 

SENATE

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SOCIAL SERVICES LEGISLATION AMENDMENT

(YOUTH EMPLOYMENT AND OTHER MEASURES) BILL 2015

 

 

 

 

SUPPLEMENTARY EXPLANATORY MEMORANDUM

 

 

 

 

 

Amendments to be moved on behalf of the Government

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Circulated by the authority of the

Minister for Social Services, the Hon Scott Morrison MP)



SOCIAL SERVICES LEGISLATION AMENDMENT

(YOUTH EMPLOYMENT AND OTHER MEASURES) BILL 2015

 

 

Amendments to be moved on behalf of the Government

 

 

OUTLINE

 

These Government amendments defer the implementation dates for two measures in the Bill in light of its delayed passage and insert additional new provisions in relation to another measure in the Bill.

 

The current implementation date for the ordinary waiting periods measure provided by Schedule 1 to the Bill is 1 July 2015.  This measure will now be implemented from 1 January 2016.

 

The Bill also currently provides for one of the indexation measures provided by Schedule 5 (maintain at level for three years the income free areas for all working age allowances (other than student payments) and for parenting payment single) to be implemented from 1 July 2015.  This measure will now be implemented from 1 July 2016, and the relevant income free areas will be maintained at level for three years.

 

The income support waiting period measure provided by Schedule 3 will now have a special rule relating to employment services and disability employment services.  The special rule will ensure that, in some circumstances, a person who is serving an income support waiting period will be entitled to ‘back payment’ for the part of the waiting period that they have already served if they are reassessed under the Job Seeker Classification Instrument as not being job ready.

 

 

Financial impact statement

 

The estimated revised savings from the two measures over the forward estimates is:

 

  • Ordinary waiting periods                                      $241.0 million*
  • Indexation                                                                 $99.0 million (combined)*

( maintain at level for three years the income free areas for all working age allowances (other than student payments) and for parenting payment single); and maintain at level for three years the income free areas and other means test thresholds for student payments including the student income bank limits

 

* indicative only - indicative financial impact refers to administered funding for affected social security payments only and is not net of implementation funding



SOCIAL SERVIC ES LEGISLATION AMENDMENT

(YOUTH EMPLOYMENT AND OTHER MEASURES) BILL 2015

 

 

Amendments to be moved on behalf of the Government

 

NOTES ON AMENDMENTS

 

Amendment 1 amends the commencement clause in the Bill in relation to the ordinary waiting periods measure provided by Schedule 1 to the Bill.  The measure was previously intended to commence on 1 July 2015.  The measure is now intended to commence on 1 January 2016.

 

Amendments 2 and 3 amend Schedule 3 to the Bill in relation to income support waiting periods to create a special rule relating to employment services or disability employment services.  This special rule will be included in new subsections 549CAA(7) and 739AA(6) of the Social Security Act.

 

A person may be assessed under the Job Seeker Classification Instrument (JSCI) as requiring a level of employment services on the basis that they are ‘job ready’ (Stream A of jobactive).  Such a person may be subject to an income support waiting period.  However, it is possible that the initial assessment may not have been made on the basis of all of the information that applies to the person.  In some circumstances, a person may be ‘reassessed’ under the JSCI and found to require employment services or disability employment services of a class determined under proposed paragraph 549CAB(2)(a) or 739AB(2)(a).  A person who is assessed as requiring such employment services or disability employment services is exempt from the income support waiting period.  However, under the Bill as introduced, the person would not be entitled to ‘back payment’ for the part of the waiting period that had already been served before the reassessment.

 

Amendments 2 and 3 provide that, in certain circumstances, a person who is reassessed as requiring employment services or disability employment services of a class determined under proposed paragraph 549CAB(2)(a) or 739AB(2)(a) is taken not to have been subject to an income support waiting period.  The circumstances are where the Secretary is satisfied that the person should have been assessed as requiring that level of employment services or disability employment services on the person’s start day for youth allowance or special benefit.  That is, where the Secretary is satisfied that, as a matter of fact, on the person’s start day, the person required employment services on the basis that the person was not job ready.  In these circumstances, the person will be entitled to ‘back payment’ for the waiting period that had been served before the reassessment.

 

A person will not be entitled to ‘back payment’ where the initial JSCI assessment was, as a matter of fact, accurate for the person’s circumstances at the time, but where the person’s circumstances change such that they are subsequently assessed to require employment services or disability employment services of a class determined under proposed paragraph 549CAB(2)(a) or 739AB(2)(a).  Such a person would, however, be exempt from the remainder of the income support waiting period that would have applied to the person.

 

Amendments 4, 5 and 6 amend Schedule 5 to the Bill so that amounts under item 14 (to the extent that it relates to parenting payment (single)), item 14AA and item 14AAA of the CPI Indexation Table in subsection 1191(1) of the Social Security Act are not indexed on 1 July 2016, 1 July 2017 and 1 July 2018.  This means that the payment free area for benefits and allowances, and the ordinary income free area for parenting payment (single), will not be indexed until 1 July 2019.