Government promotes the bullying of people on JobSeeker payments

Contributed by Ugly

The private operators in the Job Network program and nowadays called Jobactive providers, have been showing just what a caring lot they are, by bullying those who come to them after losing their jobs because of the Coronavirus epidemic. They didn’t give two hoots that the nation was in lockdown and there were no jobs going.

It is the same treatment that the unemployed have been getting all along.

Everyone going on JobSeeker payments is assigned to one of these Jobactive providers, must attend interviews with them, sign an activity agreement, and then do whatever they are told to do, including meaningless tasks, which often operate to discourage rather than lead to finding work.

One of these tasks is to show they have applied for stack of jobs during each payment period. Anyone not complying loses their JobSeeker payments. When individuals are forced to spend their time and effort into applying for unrealistic jobs, just to make up a tally, it becomes a farce. During the lock down, when there are no jobs, this became worse.

The only reason why it happens, is that the Jobactive providers don’t get paid for actually finding people jobs. They get from $269 to $377 per appointment and $1,515, for every individual they get off the Centrelink list. This is geared to generate abuse.

It’s got to stop. This is a bare faced rort and breeds discrimination, and these providers have been given $210 million out of the Coronavirus packages to do it.

It doesn’t end here. It now comes to light, that the federal government went so far as to tell the Jobactive providers to pursue the new people on the JobSeeker allowance, along with those who were already out of work, when the Coronavirus struck.

This came out in a leaked letter from a senior government functionary. The government said it had suspended the mutual obligation requirement. But this letter shows has been actively engaged in lifting it to a new level.

Now that everything might be starting up again, the government is showing that it is keen to pull back on the money promised to help those who lost their livelihood during the lock down. They want the numbers on paper to come down and they want to hang onto the money.

It is high time there was a shift in attitude. People out of work should not be treated as if they deserve to be punished for a situation that is often not their fault. It breeds discrimination and a belief that it is somehow wrong to be kind to others. You hear this with those who are sucked in and look on those out of work as filth from the gutter.

The reality is that there is not enough work for everyone, and we are all judged by how we treat the less fortunate. To have enough income for adequate food, shelter and other basic necessities is a human right, and like all human rights, society has an obligation to ensure all of its members have this right.

The concept of a minimum universal income is gaining popularity. It would counter discrimination and extend to those suffering form under employment. Australia should give it a go.

4 Comments on "Government promotes the bullying of people on JobSeeker payments"

  1. i live in a small town. less then 1000 people. the providers are 100km away and visit once a fortnight. for 2 years they didnt care what time during the appointment day you arrived. suddenly a new worker was doing the run. 30 minutes after a 11 30 appointment time i got a phone call telling me i was late. i offered to come up straight away and was told to late. the attitude and tone of the call was aggresive and rude. many local businesses have said not to ask for work tbere isnt any.

  2. mick quinlivan | 14 May 2020 at 6:30 pm | Reply

    for the most part the job net work is a joke…. bring back the ces

  3. Then why ask for it?

  4. i’m going through the same problems with my job network agency at noarlunga sth australia where i was told they can only make a appointment to reengage on the day im meant to get paid on when i went down to my provider to ask why i cant get a earlier appointment while stressing to management that i have direct debits coming out on payday and only have enough medication to last too monday ,,,, i was told too bad i had 1 of there employees who told me to relax and take a timeout 2 weeks earlier as i was not coping very well as i had problems with my border who attack me with a hammer they lowered my 20 job seeks to 4 a mth and showed compassion not even 2 weeks later i had to attend a appointment on the 27th because not attending because i had car trouble and was bitten by a spider payment is now on hold i thought these agents were meant for helping people not hindering there family lives its bullshit there given the power to control your payment but when i was there around 3 o’clock theirs was not even 1 person a job seeker there i ask why cant i be seen now and was told very rudely because your appointment is on tuesday i’ve seen people throw tables and chair around and got the red carpet and paid im at a loss and still confused what to do 🙁

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