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Government taking strong action to ensure the integrity of employment services

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THE HON KATE ELLIS MP Minister for Employment Participation Minister for Early Childhood and Child Care


30 March 2012

Government taking strong action to ensure the integrity of employment services

The Australian Government has announced changes to national employment services to simplify and preserve the integrity of the successful system.

Minister for Employment Participation, Kate Ellis said the $4.7 billion Job Services Australia (JSA) program has been a key part of the Australian Government’s employment record that has seen over 700,000 Australians enter paid employment since 2007.

It’s a program that is working well but while most employment service providers do the right thing - investigations have shown that there is evidence of inappropriate practices.

“The Government has taken the decision to immediately amend all new employment services contracts so that there is no longer scope for providers to exploit the system,” Ms Ellis said.

“We are also simplifying the system and making it more user friendly, so that staff can spend more time on the work that really matters - getting people into jobs.

From 1 July, JSA providers will be paid a single outcome payment for placing a jobseeker in employment for 13 and 26 weeks.

This replaces the former system where a provider could claim a higher payment for making direct contact with an employer to identify a vacancy before the job seeker secures the position and a lower payment for when the provider has up-skilled and supported a jobseeker to undertake job search activity and secure an ongoing job themselves.

Whilst the Australian Government is confident that these changes remove the scope for misuse of the system, any job seekers who have concerns are encouraged to raise them directly with the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations via a new tip-off line on 1300 874536.

“I will not allow substandard behaviour to tarnish the good record and reputation of Australia’s employment services," Ms Ellis said.

“We need all employment service providers focusing on helping Australians to find a decent job, bring home a pay packet each week and gain the dignity of work and the promise of a brighter future.

An audit into JSA provider brokered outcomes, independently overseen by former senior Department of Finance and Deregulation official Mr Robert Butterworth, is expected to report to the Australian Government soon.

The Australian Government is currently assessing bids for the next round of contracts which will be announced next week.

Minister Ellis’ media contact: Jamila Rizvi 0438 644 603 DEEWR Media: Non-media enquiries: 1300 363 079