Government’s First Step To Employment Reform
11 November 2013 at 9:33 am
The Federal Coalition Government has announced three measures to cut red tape and reform Australia’s employment system, however Australia’s peak body for Not for Profit employment organisations says there’s still a way to go.
Assistant Minister for Employment Luke Hartsuyker said the changes to Federal Government employment services program, Jobs Services Australia, will allow job service providers to focus on delivering outcomes for job seekers “rather than being drowned in a sea of paperwork” and described it as an important “first step”.
The changes are that employment providers will no longer need to retain paper copies of records (only electronic copies); from December 1 changes to the contract guidelines will be released quarterly; and the time limit for lodging certain claims will be extended from 28 days to 56 days.
Job Services Australia contracts are due to expire in 2015, and the Federal Government is reviewing the system prior to the re-tendering of contracts with a view to substantial reform.
Hartsuyker said the need to cut red tape in the employment services sector was consistently raised with him during his ongoing consultations.
"Over the past six weeks I have met with representatives from the employment services sector to hear first-hand about what works and what doesn’t, particularly in relation to linkages between employers, service providers and unemployed people," Hartsuyker said.
National peak body for Not for Profit organisations that assist unemployed people to get and keep jobs, Jobs Australia Chief Executive Officer David Thompson said the three measures were a good start but there was a lot further to do.
He said Government compliance has affected front-line efficiency, and employment consultants were spending about half their time on administration.
“We have a system choking on red tape and it’s distracting us from doing our job and focus on the things that matter,” Thompson said.
Thompson has met with the Minister, the last time at an extensive round-table discussion with National Employment Services Association in Sydney.
Thompson said Jobs Australia will be providing the Minister with a further 20 to 30 suggestions for reducing administrative burden.
“We will continue to press the ideas in our blueprint,” Thompson said.