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Government’s cruel demerit point system and jobactive program continues to harm and demonise the most vulnerable

Data tabled at Estimates today shows that the Government is doing nothing about the high numbers of vulnerable people receiving suspensions and financial penalties under the targeted compliance framework (demerit point system). 

“Despite clear evidence that the draconian demerit point system is punishing the most vulnerable by suspending or cancelling their payments at Estimates after Estimates, the Government has done nothing to remedy this,” Senator Rachel Siewert said. 
 
“First Nations peoples, single parents, disabled and homeless people are receiving a very high proportion of penalties under this system and I’ve asked them about it at every single Estimates since the demerit point system was introduced. 
 
“Jobactive providers are still not designing appropriate job plans for participants. After a capability interview the most common reason (64%) a jobactive participant is found not capable is because there are errors in job/participant plans
 
“A lot of people in vulnerable demographics are still being found not capable of meeting their job plan requirements. The capability interview and capability assessment are meant to act as safeguards for vulnerable job seekers. But the statistics really show that providers aren’t doing their jobs properly. 
 
“Following a capability interview (completed by the provider):41% total jobactive caseload are found not capable, 45% First Nations participants are found not capableand 56% of single parent participants found not capable. This can mean there are errors in their plan or new information comes to light, which suggests that a thorough approach to developing the plan to meet participants needs have not been taken.
 
“Why are we paying job providers millions of dollars if they can’t even get job plans right for the people they are meant to be helping?
 
“Jobactive is undermined from the outset because the Government prioritises compliance over genuine assistance, providers are required to focus on enforcing compliance over assisting people into fulfilling employment pathways, particularly since the introduction of the Targeted Compliance Framework (TCF) in 2018."
 
 


Media Contact
Lucy Cowcher-Guthrie: 0418 401 180

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