Govt Launches Next Step to Employment Reform
Monday, 31st March 2014 at 9:34 am
The national peak body for Not for Profits that assist unemployed people into work has claimed a win after the Federal Government announced reforms that would reduce paperwork for the employment sector.
The reforms follow red tape cuts announced by Assistant Minister of Employment Luke Hartsuyker last November, which included extending the timeframe providers have to lodge certain claims and abolishing the need for providers to retain copies of their records.
In this second round of reforms, Jobs Services Australia providers will no longer need to collect documentary evidence from Employers or job seekers to verify a person’s employment.
From July 1, the Department of Employment will instead use the information already collection by the Department of Human Services regarding a person’s earning and hours of employment – which is estimated to save more than $13 million each year.
Other items on the reforms include:
simplifying the paperwork for employers who give a job seeker the opportunity to work;
using technology to get job seekers to agree to their Employment Pathway Plan;
streamlining the number of special claims for provider payments;
and publishing weekly rather than ad-hoc web-based news updates.
Jobs Australia Chief Executive Officer David Thompson said this round of red-tape cuts were all on the list of prime red tape targets Jobs Australia presented to Hartsuyker late last year.
“Importantly too, the move to remove the need for costly collection of paper evidence that people are in jobs will remove a very significant hassle factor for employers using Job Services Australia,” Thompson said.
“On our figuring, the $23 million worth of efficiency gains will be considerably more than the Minister estimates – and enable providers to focus on getting more and better results for job seekers and employers and less on shuffling paper.”
“We’re pleased that the Government has taken the advice from our members on board and is showing a real determination to create a more flexible system that is more responsive to the needs of both employers and job seekers.
“The move to an ‘off-benefits’ definition for employment outcome payments, to reduce the time providers spend hassling employers for evidence, has been at the top of the list of changes our members have been asking for.”
Thompson said the reform would mean relying on the information collected by Centrelink when a claimant starts work, rather than requiring the Job Services Australia provider to collect separate declarations from employers.
“This has the potential to free up around 70 per cent the paperwork for job outcome claims,” Thompson said.
“Frontline staff will be able to spend that much more time getting people into jobs, rather than hassling employers to fill in forms.”
“With these changes, Minister Hartsuyker has made some real inroads into the red tape that has been hampering employment services for too long.”