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Reform of Employment Services (Consequential Provisions) Bill 1996 [1998]

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1996-97

 

 

THE PARLIAMENT OF THE COMMONWEALTH OF AUSTRALIA

 

 

THE SENATE

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

REFORM OF EMPLOYMENT SERVICES (CONSEQUENTIAL PROVISIONS) BILL 1996

 

 

SUPPLEMENTARY EXPLANATORY MEMORANDUM

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Amendments to be moved on behalf of the Government)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Circulated by authority of the Minister for Employment, Education, Training and Youth Affairs, Senator the Hon Amanda Vanstone)

 

 

80931 Cat. No. 96 7372 5 ISBN 0644 49784X



 

 

REFORM OF EMPLOYMENT SERVICES (CONSEQUENTIAL PROVISIONS) BILL 1996

 

(Amendments to be moved on behalf of the Government)

 

OUTLINE

 

The Bill would repeal the Employment Services Act 1994 .

 

The Bill would provide for transitional arrangements in relation to the cessation of the present case management system.

 

The Bill would make consequential amendments of the following Acts:

 

.         Administrative Decisions (Judicial Review) Act 1977

.         Childcare Rebate Act 1993

.         Disability Discrimination Act 1992

.         Freedom of Information Act 1982

.         Ombudsman Act 1976

.         Privacy Act 1988

.         Sex Discrimination Act 1992

.         Social Security Act 1991

.         Student and Youth Assistance Act 1973 ; and

.         Workplace Relations Act 1996

 

 

PURPOSE OF THE AMENDMENTS

 

The amendments would provide for the making of further technical and consequential amendments of the Childcare Rebate Act 1993 , the Social Security Act 1991 and the Student and Youth Assistance Act 1973 .

 

Minor amendments of the Employment Services Act 1994 are also proposed to cover interim arrangements for the establishment of the Commonwealth Services Delivery Agency.

 

FINANCIAL IMPACT

 

The measures in these amendments have no financial impact on the Commonwealth.

 



 

EXPLANATION OF AMENDMENTS

 

Amendment number 1 - Childcare Rebate Act 1993

 

This amendment would correct the heading to items 7 to 9 of Schedule 1.  The reference to “ Child Care Rebate Act 1993 ” would be replaced by “ Childcare Rebate Act 1993 ”.

 

 

Amendment number 2 - Childcare Rebate Act 1993

 

This amendment would omit item 8 of Schedule 1 and substitute a new item with effect that a definition of “Employment Secretary” would be inserted for the purposes of section 29 of the Childcare Rebate Act 1993 .

 

 

Amendment number 3 - Social Security Act 1991 and Student and Youth Assistance Act 1973

 

This amendment would omit present items 12 to 48 of Schedule 1 and substitute new items 12 to 190.

 

Items 12 to 134 - amendments of the Social Security Act 1991

 

The Bill would be amended to substitute items 12 to 134 for the present items 12 to 41 of Schedule 1 to the Bill. 

 

Items 12 to 41 as originally included in this Bill would provide for technical amendments of the Social Security Act 1991 which are consequential upon the repeal of the Employment Services Act 1994 and the introduction of the new employment services delivery arrangements.  Certain references to the Employment Services Act would be replaced by references to the proposed Reform of Employment Services Act.  References to the CES would be replaced by references to the “Employment Secretary”, the (Social Security) “Secretary” and “the Agency” as appropriate.

 

The substituted items would provide, in addition to the previous amendments, additional technical and consequential amendments of the Social Security Act 1991

 

Provisions relating to training supplements payable in relation to widows allowance, newstart allowance and mature age allowance are to be repealed.  The funding previously provided for training supplements will now be applied to the provision of employment services on the basis that employment services providers will be expected to provide ancillary assistance for training course participation. 

 

The opportunity is now also being taken to remove references in the Act to outdated labour market programs such as LEAP and Jobskills and to include references to the new Community Support Program to be administered by the Employment Department.

 

The following items deal with the removal of references to the CES or registration in an allowance category with the CES: 12,14, 15, 16, 20, 26, 27, 30, 31, 37, 38, 41, 42, 44, 46, 47, 50, 51, 52, 53, 59, 60, 63, 64, 65, 66, 76, 86, 87, 88, 89, 91, 97, 98, 99, 101, 102, 108, 109, 110, 111, 112, 113, 120, 123, 124, 125, 127, 128, 129 and 133.

 

 

The following items deal with the repeal of provisions relating to training supplements: 25, 96, 107, and 134.

 

The following items deal with removal of references to LEAP and Jobskills: 12, 18, 19, 21, 22, 23, 24, 28, 32, 34, 56, 57, 58, 69, 70, 73, 100, 103, 104, 105, 106, 114, 115, 116 and 117.

 

The following items deal with the inclusion of references to the Community Support Program (and the exclusion of references to labour market programs): 13, 17, 35, 39, 43, 48, 71, 74, 77, 79, 83, 92, 94, 118 and 119.

 

The following items deal with the exclusion of references to the Employment Secretary: 36, 40, 72, 75, 78, 80, 84, 93 and 95.

 

The following items deal with the repeal of the Employment Services Act 1994 and the proposed enactment of the Reform of Employment Services Act 1997 : 29, 33, 45, 54, 55, 81, 82, 85 and 90.

 

Item 49 would make a technical amendment of subsection 606(5) of the Act to provide that a Newstart Activity Agreement may be cancelled by the Secretary following a request by either party for a review of the agreement.

 

Items 61, 62, 67 and 68 would amend section 615A, which deals with certain claims for newstart allowance which may be made by telephone, to provide that such claims may also be made by facsimile or computer equipment.

 

Item 126 would make a technical amendment to subsection 1261(1A) of the Act to make it clear that if an application for review by the Social Security Appeals Tribunal (SSAT) is received by the Employment Department, then the Employment Secretary must forward it to the National Convenor of the SSAT.  The present reference is simply to the “Secretary” and this could be taken to mean the Social Security Secretary.

 

Items 130, 131 and 132 would amend section 1299 (which deals with delegations) to remove the limitation that certain powers may only be delegated to officers nominated by the Employment Secretary.

 

 

 

Items 135 to 190 - Amendments of the Student and Youth Assistance Act 1973

 

Items 42 to 48 as originally included in this Bill would provide for technical amendments of the Student and Youth Assistance Act 1973 which are consequential upon the repeal of the Employment Services Act 1994 and the introduction of the new employment services delivery arrangements.  Certain references to the Employment Services Act would be replaced by references to the proposed Reform of Employment Services Act.  References to the CES would be replaced by references to the “Employment Secretary”, the (Social Security) “Secretary” and “the Agency” as appropriate.

 

Provisions relating to youth training supplement are to be repealed.  The funding previously provided for training supplements will now be applied to the provision of employment services on the basis that employment services providers will be expected to provide ancillary assistance for training course participation.

 

The substituted items would provide, in addition to the previous amendments, additional technical and consequential amendments of the Student and Youth Assistance Act 1973 .  The opportunity is now also being taken to remove references in the Act to outdated labour market programs such as LEAP and Jobskills and to include references to the new Community Support Program to be administered by the Employment Department.

 

The following items deal with the removal of references to the CES or registration in an allowance category with the CES: 136, 137, 138, 139, 141, 142, 143, 145, 147, 148, 149, 150, 153, 154, 155, 156, 157, 158, 162, 163, 166, 167, 168, 169, 176, 183, 184, 185, and 189.

 

The following items deal with the repeal of provisions relating to training supplements: 135, and 188.

 

The following items deal with the inclusion of references to the Community Support Program (and the exclusion of references to labour market programs): 140, 144, 146, 151, 172, 177, 178, 179, 181, 186, 187 and 190.

 

The following items deal with removal of references to LEAP and Jobskills: 159, 160, 161, 173, 174 and 175.

 

The following items deal with the repeal of the Employment Services Act 1994 : 180, and 182.

 

Item 152 would make a technical amendment of subsection 80(5) of the Act to provide that a Youth Training Activity Agreement may be cancelled by the Secretary following a request by either party for a review of the agreement.

 

Items 164, 165, 170 and 171 would amend section 91A, which deals with certain claims for youth training allowance which may be made by telephone, to provide that such claims may also be made by facsimile or computer equipment.

 

 

 

Amendment number 4 - Employment Services Act 1994

 

Section 10 of the Employment Services Act 1994 is to the effect that only certain action taken by officers of the Department of Employment, Education, Training and Youth Affairs, in the name of the CES, may be taken to be actions of the CES for the purposes of that Act. 

 

Sections 47 and 146 of the Employment Services Act 1994 similarly limit the delegations of certain powers by the Employment Secretary, and the appointment of authorised review officers, to officers of the Department of Employment, Education, Training and Youth Affairs.

 

The Commonwealth Services Delivery Agency is proposed to be established in the Social Security portfolio and is to assume certain of the present functions of the CES prior to the repeal of the Employment Services Act 1994 by this Bill.  Amendments of the Employment Services Act 1994 are proposed which would allow:

 

·         for actions of officers of the Department of Social Security, in the name of the CES, to be taken to be actions of the CES for the purposes of that Act; and

·         the Secretary to my Department to delegate certain powers to officers of the Department of Social Security and to appoint officers of that Department as authorised review officers for the purposes of that Act.



 

The amendments propose to add Schedule 3, items 1 to 4, to the Bill and would cover the period of transfer of officers of the CES to the Department of Social Security in advance of the establishment of the Commonwealth Services Delivery Agency as proposed by the Commonwealth Services Delivery Agency Bill 1996.   Arrangements for staff of the Agency to perform the listed functions will be provided for in the Commonwealth Services Delivery Agency (Consequential Amendments) Bill 1997 to be introduced by the Minister for Social Security.