Time to reform Australia’s employment system, not tinker with it

Anglicare Australia has called for an overhaul of Australia’s employment system, responding to the review of Workforce Australia.

“Anyone who wants help to look for work should be able to get it. The quality of that support should be guaranteed, and the system should be about supporting people,” said Anglicare Australia Executive Director Kasy Chambers.

“But this review includes mountains of evidence that the system hurts people without helping them. People have reported running a gauntlet of interviews, reporting, and administration that isn’t leading to work. Private providers are being paid millions of dollars to punish and breach people.

“Instead of helping people, the system is stopping them from finding work, causing harm, and driving some to despair.

“Lynchpins of the system, like Work for the Dole, have repeatedly been shown to fail – and they waste millions of dollars a year. The report acknowledges that many of these programs are failing.

“This isn’t a surprise. Anglicare Australia agencies work with people caught up in this system and they have been saying this for years.

“In spite of it all, we seem set to keep the architecture of the system. This approach ignores the evidence provided to the committee over the last year. If we keep doing the same things, we will continue to get the same results.

“We know how to change things for the better. We need to raise the rate of government payments so that nobody lives below the poverty line. We need to stop private providers from punishing people for no reason. And we need to end failing programs like Work for the Dole.

“All of these steps are backed by two major Anglicare Australia reports, Asking Those Who Know and Obligation Without Opportunity.

“We are asking the Government to listen to the evidence and join us in fixing the system once and for all. It’s time to build a safety net that that actually helps people instead of punishing them,” Ms Chambers said.