Bosses to dob in job seekers who reject offers
Employers will be able to dob in a job snob under a shake up of welfare obligations, which will accompany the $9 billion decision to increase JobSeeker payments by $50 a fortnight.
Single parents and students will also get the payment increase, but the coronavirus supplement of $150 a fortnight will end after March.
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As part of a toughening of mutual obligations, an employers' reporting line will be set up, so bosses can dob in JobSeeker recipient who reject a job offer, or deliberately applying for jobs for which they are entirely unqualified.
If the welfare recipient does not have an acceptable reason for turning down the work they would face a suspension of payments.
There have been 254,248 suspensions of JobSeeker payments in Queensland since mutual obligations restarted on September 28, after they were put on hold in March due to the COVID-19 lockdowns.
This included 112 instances where someone turned down a job offer and 146,850 instances of failing to meet job search requirements, such as not applying for enough jobs or deliberately applying for unsuitable jobs.
As well as the employers' reporting line, JobSeeker recipients will have to increase their job searches from eight per month, to 15 per month, then back to 20 per month by July.
Employment Minister Michaelia Cash said increasing the mutual obligations was about "getting people off welfare and into work".
"This is all about acknowledging that, if I am receiving welfare, I have obligations to do everything I can to get into a job," she said.
There are about 276,000 Queenslanders on JobSeeker who will receive $620.80 a fortnight under the new payments, in what is the largest increase since 1986.
It includes the $50 a fortnight rise and the previously expected indexation.
There are another 36,000 Queenslanders on Youth Allowance, 61,000 on single parenting payments, 8700 on Austudy and 2600 on ABSTUDY who will receive the increase.
Social Services Minister Anne Ruston said the increase amount was about getting the balance right.
"We need to support people while they're looking for work, we need to create incentives so they want to look for work," she said.
Welfare groups criticised the increase, which equates to $3.57 per day, with the Queensland Council of Social Services boss Aimee McVeigh saying it would "trap people in poverty".
"A measly $3.57 per day won't buy you a return bus fare and will barely cover the cost of a loaf of bread," she said.
Opposition leader Anthony Albanese said he would examine the detail of the announcement, but would not comment on if they increase was enough.
The welfare changes will have the biggest impacts in suburbs like Caboolture, Inala, Surfers Paradise and Redbank Plains, which have the highest number of people on JobSeeker payments, based on Department of Social Services data.
Originally published as Bosses to dob in job seekers who reject offers