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Australian Government Coat of Arms

Budget | 2015-16

Budget 2015-16
Australian Government Coat of Arms, Budget 2015-16

Part 2: Expense Measures (continued)

Employment

Beacon Foundation — grant funding

Expense ($m)
2014‑15 2015‑16 2016‑17 2017‑18 2018‑19
Department of Employment

The Government will provide a grant of $950,000 in 2014‑15 to the Beacon Foundation to enable it to extend its Real Futures Generation programme until January 2016. The funding is aimed at supporting more young people to develop the career skills necessary to transition from school to employment through partnerships with business and schools.

The cost of this measure will be met by redirecting uncommitted funding from the Work for the Dole operating fund.

Employment Services — Changes to Service Fees and Cessation of Personal Contact Interviews

Expense ($m)
2014‑15 2015‑16 2016‑17 2017‑18 2018‑19
Department of Employment ‑45.8
Department of Human Services 2.0 ‑9.0 ‑10.9 ‑11.2 ‑11.2
Total — Expense ‑43.8 ‑9.0 ‑10.9 ‑11.2 ‑11.2

The Government will achieve savings of $86.1 million over five years by changing the Job Services Australia fee structure in the final quarter of 2014‑15 and removing the requirement for job seekers to attend Personal Contact Interviews.

As part of the transition to the new Employment Services 2015‑20 arrangements due to commence on 1 July 2015, Job Services Australia service fees for the final quarter of 2014‑15 will be paid on a pro‑rata basis for the period the job seeker is being serviced to recognise that some job seekers will receive support for less than three months before transitioning to the new arrangements. The change is estimated to save $45.8 million in 2014‑15.

From 1 July 2015, personal contact interviews will no longer be required as part of the new jobactive arrangements as job seekers will be required to stay connected with their jobactive providers. Ceasing the interviews is estimated to save $40.3 million over four years.

The savings from this measure will be redirected by the Government to repair the Budget and fund policy priorities.

Fair Entitlements Guarantee — recovery programme — trial

Expense ($m)
2014‑15 2015‑16 2016‑17 2017‑18 2018‑19
Department of Employment 5.7 5.8

The Government will provide $11.5 million over two years from 2015‑16 to undertake a two year trial of funding litigation activities to improve the recovery of employment entitlements advanced under the Fair Entitlements Guarantee (FEG) scheme. The effectiveness of the trial in achieving additional recovery will be reviewed in 2017.

Under FEG, if a company goes into liquidation or bankruptcy occurs, the Government provides assistance to cover certain unpaid employment entitlements to eligible employees early in the liquidation process before all assets and company funds are realised and seeks to recover its costs once the litigation process is complete.

Geelong Employment Facilitator — extension

Expense ($m)
2014‑15 2015‑16 2016‑17 2017‑18 2018‑19
Department of Employment ‑1.3 0.8 0.6

The Government will provide an additional $1.3 million over two years from 2015‑16 to extend the services of the Geelong Employment Facilitator (the Facilitator) to 30 June 2017. The Facilitator assists people affected by recent and scheduled industry closures in the Greater Geelong region, including by organising job fairs and facilitating employment opportunities.

The cost of this measure will be met by redirecting uncommitted 2014‑15 funding from the Work for the Dole operating fund.

Growing Jobs and Small Business — engaging early school leavers

Expense ($m)
2014‑15 2015‑16 2016‑17 2017‑18 2018‑19
Department of Employment 1.3 2.6 2.7 2.8
Department of Human Services 1.0 1.0 0.9 0.9
Total — Expense 2.3 3.6 3.6 3.7
Department of Employment 0.3

The Government will provide $13.5 million over four years from 2015‑16 to strengthen activity requirements for early school leavers aged 15 to 21 years to improve their employment and education outcomes. From 1 January 2016, all early school leavers will be required to actively look for work if they are not in full‑time education or a combination of education and part‑time work of 25 hours per week. Early school leavers will also be required to meet their activity requirements of 25 hours per week until they turn 22 or have achieved a Year 12 or Certificate III qualification.

To support the new arrangements, education outcome payments to jobactive providers will be extended to include Certificate III qualifications and cover all early school leavers under 22 years of age.

The Government's Growing Jobs and Small Business package will help small business invest more, grow and employ more Australians.

Growing Jobs and Small Business — further strengthening the job seeker compliance arrangements

Expense ($m)
2014‑15 2015‑16 2016‑17 2017‑18 2018‑19
Department of Human Services 5.0 9.9 8.3 7.8
Department of Employment 0.4 0.1 0.1
Department of Social Services ‑2.6 ‑2.1 ‑2.2
Total — Expense 5.4 7.3 6.3 5.6
Department of Employment 0.4

The Government will provide $24.9 million over four years from 2015‑16 to further strengthen the job seeker compliance framework by introducing stronger and more immediate penalties for job seekers who do not meet their mutual obligation requirements.

From 1 July 2016, the Government will extend the 'no show no pay' principle to missed appointments and activities like work for the dole, to encourage positive job seeker behaviour and compliance.

Job seekers who fail to undertake adequate job search will be subject to income support payment suspension until they demonstrate genuine job search efforts. These job seekers would also no longer be able to have the financial penalty waived by agreeing to undertake a compliance activity.

This measure is estimated to deliver savings of $6.9 million over three years from 2016‑17.

This measure delivers on the Government's election commitment.

The Government's Growing Jobs and Small Business package will help small business invest more, grow and employ more Australians.

Growing Jobs and Small Business — wage subsidies — redesign

Expense ($m)
2014‑15 2015‑16 2016‑17 2017‑18 2018‑19
Department of Employment ‑0.1 ‑103.3 ‑21.0 57.6 66.4
Department of Employment 0.3

The Government will establish a single wage subsidy pool from 1 July 2015 with access to funding of approximately $1.2 billion over four years, through the consolidation of four existing programmes: the Long Term Unemployed Wage Subsidy, the Youth Subsidy, the Restart Subsidy and the Tasmanian Jobs Programme.

The new arrangements will provide greater flexibility for jobactive providers and employers to respond to changes in employer demand. Each wage subsidy will have specific eligibility requirements and operational guidelines.

As part of this programme consolidation, the Government will introduce the following changes to ensure that subsidies are well targeted and align with the Government's objective to support workforce participation across the community:

  • the eligibility for the Youth Wage Subsidy will be expanded to include eligible job seekers aged 15 to 29 years of age after six months in jobactive, with a start date of 1 November 2015;
  • payments for the Restart Subsidy will be more accessible by allowing employers to receive the subsidy amount of $10,000 progressively over 12 months, rather than the current 24 months;
  • a new wage subsidy stream with payments of up to $6,500 will be introduced for parents who are on income support with participation requirements and are classified as a Principal Carer Parent, or are in receipt of the Parenting Payment, with a wage subsidy provided after six months in jobactive; and
  • from 13 May 2015, the wage subsidy under the Tasmanian Jobs Programme will be doubled to $6,500.

The Government's Growing Jobs and Small Business package will help small business invest more, grow and employ more Australians.

Growing Jobs and Small Business — Youth Employment Strategy — intensive support — transition to work

Expense ($m)
2014‑15 2015‑16 2016‑17 2017‑18 2018‑19
Department of Employment 22.0 60.8 63.6 61.2
Department of Human Services 2.8 0.6 0.6 0.6
Total — Expense 24.8 61.4 64.1 61.7

The Government will provide $212.0 million over four years from 2015‑16 to establish a new intensive support service to help young people at high risk of long term unemployment and welfare dependency.

Funding will be provided to a network of community based organisations to deliver intensive support to early school leavers aged 15 to 21 years, including those who are not in receipt of income support, by addressing barriers to employment and providing services to address core skills deficits. Outreach services will be provided to connect severely disengaged youth and to facilitate coordinated regional approaches for those at risk. There will be a strong focus on helping disengaged young people to take up work experience opportunities to build practical skills and undertake training or education to encourage them to take up apprenticeships and traineeships that lead to job outcomes.

The Government's Growing Jobs and Small Business package will help small business invest more, grow and employ more Australians.

Growing Jobs and Small Business Package — National Work Experience Programme

Expense ($m)
2014‑15 2015‑16 2016‑17 2017‑18 2018‑19
Department of Employment 3.2 4.0 4.7 3.6
Department of Human Services 0.2 2.0 0.1 0.1 0.1
Department of Social Services 0.1 0.1 0.1 0.1
Total — Expense 0.2 5.3 4.2 4.8 3.7
Department of Employment 0.1

The Government will provide $18.3 million over five years from 2014‑15 to vary existing unpaid work experience arrangements, allowing job seekers to undertake up to 25 hours per week of unpaid work experience for up to four weeks where there is the likelihood of employment as a result.

The programme is for job seekers aged 18 years and over and is on a voluntary basis. Participants will continue to receive income support and a supplement. The new work experience programme will have a strong focus on creating opportunities for young job seekers. Employers who offer participants ongoing employment may be eligible for a wage subsidy.

See also related expense measure titled Growing Jobs and Small Business — wage subsidies — redesign.

The Government's Growing Jobs and Small Business package will help small business invest more, grow and employ more Australians.