The 2015—16 Budget contains new employment measures that focus on making job seekers more employable, reducing the costs of taking on new staff, and ensuring job seekers are meeting their obligations and actively looking for work.
Many of the new measures are part of the Growing Jobs and Small Business package, which – along with other significant reforms – aims to create the right conditions for Australian businesses to thrive and grow.
The package focuses on helping employers to create new jobs and assisting Australia’s unemployed, particularly young people, to access the skills and opportunities they need to become job-ready.
The main features of the Growing Jobs and Small Business package include:
A new Transition to Work programme to help young people who are not engaged in education or employment aged 15—21 to become job-ready, providing them with flexible and holistic pre-employment assistance from community-based organisations.
A new National Work Experience programme with access to voluntary work experience of up to 25 hours per week for four weeks for eligible job seekers – this will give employers the opportunity to develop the skills of potential employees and test their suitability, while job seekers will continue to receive their income support.
- Changes to wage subsidies to increase take-up and reduce complexity and red tape for employers – including increasing the Tasmanian Jobs Programme wage subsidy and allowing the full Restart wage subsidy to be paid over 12 months instead of two years.
New trial programmes to help young people and parents at risk of long-term welfare dependency – such as people from areas of entrenched disadvantage – to address their barriers to employment.
Stronger and more immediate consequences, including penalties, for job seekers who do not meet their mutual obligation requirements.
A requirement for early school leavers to actively look for work if they are not taking part in education or training for 25 hours a week, to increase their chances of finding a job.
A new requirement for job-ready job seekers up to the age of 25, to complete pre-benefit activities to show they are doing all they can to look for work. This supports a Social Services measure of an additional four-week waiting period for income support for these job seekers.
Another measure for the Department of Employment includes a programme to strengthen recovery activity in the Fair Entitlements Guarantee which pays employee entitlements when they are not able to be paid by insolvent companies. This measure will improve the amount of funding returned to the Commonwealth from the assets of insolvent companies.
These Budget initiatives will operate alongside the Government’s new employment system – jobactive – which will help employers find staff to meet their business needs and help more job seekers to find and keep a job from 1 July 2015.
For further details including Portfolio Budget Statements and agency outcomes, visit our 2015—16 Budget page.