Recommendations

Recommendation 1

3.98
The committee recommends that the government undertake a review of the adequacy of the rate of Newstart, with respect to keeping people out of poverty and getting people back into work as soon as possible.

Recommendation 2

3.106
The committee recommends that the government review the Youth PaTH program and ensure that any future program provides adequate worker protection and payment.

Recommendation 3

3.115
The committee recommends that the government consider the recommendations of this report in its response to the review of employment services.

Recommendation 4

3.131
The committee recommends that the government consult in a meaningful way with jobactive participants (including participants from disadvantaged groups) and other unemployed and underemployed Australians, as well as employment services providers, in designing future employment services.

Recommendation 5

4.25
The committee recommends that the government investigate how it can better encourage people to disclose personal barriers and make it easier for participants to move between different levels of service.

Recommendation 6

4.26
The committee recommends that employment services participants with mutual obligations should have the right to opt out of online self-servicing and instead receive direct services from their employment services provider.

Recommendation 7

5.91
The committee recommends that the government consider appropriate ways to support providers that have developed expertise in labour market programs targeted towards young people, including mentoring programs.

Recommendation 8

5.92
The committee recommends that the government investigate options to ensure that employment services meet the needs of First Nations people and people with disabilities and other health barriers.

Recommendation 9

5.93
The committee recommends that the government examine the merits of providing career counselling and support services for those who may need it, such as people who are entering the paid workforce for the first time or returning after caring for a child or family member, and people who are over 40 years of age who are struggling to reset their careers.

Recommendation 10

5.98
The committee recommends that the government review the adequacy of funding levels for employment services.

Recommendation 11

5.120
The committee recommends that the government examine options to improve access to the Employment Fund.

Recommendation 12

5.137
The committee recommends that the government consider options to encourage greater work experience opportunities for employment services participants.

Recommendation 13

5.155
The committee recommends that the government review the costs and benefits of restoring public service delivery of employment services for certain cohorts of unemployed people.

Recommendation 14

6.17
The committee recommends that the government consider allocating additional funding for employment consultant/staff training and professional development.

Recommendation 15

7.22
The committee recommends that the government improve mutual obligation requirements to better promote work readiness and effective job searches.

Recommendation 16

7.23
The committee recommends that the government consider broadening the range of activities participants can undertake to meet mutual obligation requirements.

Recommendation 17

7.43
The committee recommends that the government investigate how it can meaningfully improve the negotiation process for, and content of, Job Plans.

Recommendation 18

7.55
The committee recommends that the government consider allowing for default job search requirements to be adjusted in regions and for cohorts where employment prospects are well below-average.

Recommendation 19

7.56
The committee recommends that the government consider expanding the activities that people can use to meet mutual obligation requirements, including attending an interview.

Recommendation 20

7.71
The committee recommends that the government examine ways to improve provider awareness of approved activities including Adult Migrant English Program language courses for mutual obligations.

Recommendation 21

7.123
The committee recommends that the government strengthen obligations for providers to inform participants about appropriate alternatives to Work for the Dole and remove incentives for providers to refer participants to Work for the Dole in preference to other programs.

Recommendation 22

7.124
The committee recommends that the government consider extending eligibility for other labour market programs, such as Transition to Work, to allow those required to undertake Work for the Dole to choose other programs (if available in their area) as an alternative.

Recommendation 23

7.125
The committee recommends that the government investigate how to ensure that Work for the Dole does not in practice displace people from paid work and volunteer work.

Recommendation 24

7.126
The committee recommends that the government review Work for the Dole with a view to improving the employability of participants.

Recommendation 25

7.127
The committee recommends that the government review the safety requirements for Work for the Dole and consider whether current insurance arrangements are adequate.

Recommendation 26

7.162
The committee recommends that the government take steps to improve provider awareness of recent policy changes for participation in drug or alcohol treatment programs counting towards annual activity requirements.

Recommendation 27

7.163
The committee recommends that the government investigate if doctors are being inappropriately pressured to change medical certificates due to the recent policy changes for participation in drug or alcohol treatment programs counting towards annual activity requirements, and to address this situation as necessary.

Recommendation 28

8.24
The committee recommends that the government ensure that Centrelink has the discretion over penalties (including demerit points) which are either unfairly punitive in nature or affected by administrative error.

Recommendation 29

8.69
The committee recommends that the government consider the merits of transferring responsibility for the compliance framework, including the imposition of demerits, to the Department of Human Services or another public body.

Recommendation 30

8.83
The committee recommends that the government ensure the 'reasonable excuse' rules protect the welfare of unemployed people.

Recommendation 31

8.88
The committee recommends that the government conduct thorough testing of the new online compliance system before implementation is rolled out nationally.

Recommendation 32

9.17
The committee recommends that the government examine the appropriateness of existing appeal rights for participants and how to improve the accessibility of the appeals and complaints processes.

Recommendation 33

9.18
The committee recommends that the government implement a maximum turnaround period for the handling of complaints and appeals from participants.

Recommendation 34

9.24
The committee recommends that the government consider establishing an employment services ombudsman, to provide an independent review mechanism.

Recommendation 35

9.25
The committee recommends that the effectiveness of employment services be regularly independently evaluated.

Recommendation 36

10.27
The committee recommends that the government examine the funding model to ensure that the funding model does not inappropriately incentivise the attainment of short-term or insecure employment outcomes at the expense of more sustainable medium and long-term outcomes. This should include consideration of whether outcome payments are desirable, whether payment timeframes are too short and whether a portion of payments should be clawed back if a participant re-enters the system, and whether outcome payments should be less for insecure jobs.

Recommendation 37

10.35
The committee recommends that the government consider options to improve the funding model to ensure it contains sufficient incentives for providers to properly assist harder-to-place participants.

Recommendation 38

10.41
The committee recommends that the government review funding arrangements for non-work activities to ensure integrity in the system.

Recommendation 39

10.42
The committee recommends that the government review the funding model to ensure it promotes activities that improve the employability of participants.

Recommendation 40

10.51
The committee recommends that the government take additional action to prevent providers from contacting employers to obtain payslips without the permission of the participant.

Recommendation 41

10.56
The committee recommends that the government examine options to improve the funding model to ensure that it promotes high-quality service provision to participants and employers.

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