The new IR laws... continued

I just learned this little piece of information from my wife, who is a Social worker at Centrelink. Centrelink is the place where Australians go to if they need to be assessed for welfare, including unemployment benefits.

One of the requirements for a person to get unemployment benefits is an assessment of their recent work history. If a person was working and quit their job for no good reason (for example, because they didn't like it, or because it interfered with their social life) then the person would not be able to receive unemployment benefits for 8 weeks. Additionally, if the person is unemployed because they were sacked by their employer for failing to do the job properly, the 8 week waiting period would still apply.

The problem with the new IR laws is that it has made it easier for employers to fire staff. Previous unfair dismissal laws made it harder for bosses to fire staff, but these days it is easier. The result is that more workers are being fired than before.

And here's the problem - these newly unemployed people are turning up to Centrelink and asking for unemployment benefits. But because they were sacked and because the employer states that it was the employee's fault, these people are not receiving unemployment benefits.

Moreover, the Federal government has set a benchmark for Centrelink to follow - that a certain percentage of unemployment claims MUST be knocked back. Rewards are given to Centrelink offices and employees for having high rates of knockbacks.

So, in summary:
  • It is easier for employers to fire staff.
  • It is difficult for fired staff to then get unemployment benefits.
  • Centrelink is rewarded for preventing people from getting on unemployment benefits.
Winner: Bosses and Federal Government.
Losers: Workers.

Now you can see why people have turned so viciously against the Federal Government.

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