Author Archives: AUWU

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We are always looking to publish new stories and reports from unemployed workers. These stories have the power to challenge and change a broken system. If you’d like to share yours, please get in touch.

July Dates: “Dump Your Demerits” Info Sessions


In July the AUWU is holding six free events across five states to inform unemployed workers how to fight back against the government’s new punitive Demerit Point system.

We have booked a terrific line-up of speakers for each event, and you can pick up free leaflets and booklets about how to resist. Click on the facebook event links to find out more about each session.

Under this unfair new system, unemployed workers attending job agencies will be stripped of their rights to appeal job agency penalties, and harsher fines will be introduced for non-compliance.

Unemployed workers will be able to have our demerit points reset to zero at several stages within the complicated demerit point system. RSVP to your local event below, and learn how to Dump Your Demerits.

We look forward to meeting you and sharing tips on how to resist the abuse.


AUWU’s employment services research project – Participants wanted!

For its annual hotline report, the AUWU is conducting research into the experiences of unemployed workers in Australia.

Together with our partners Monash University and Per Capita, we are looking to speak to unemployed workers across seven locations throughout July for approximately two hours. Participants will receive a $40 gift voucher.

If you would like to register your interest for any of the focus groups below, please click on the event you would like to attend to sign up. We will then be in contact with you with more information about the focus groups, including specific locations and times. All information provided will be de-identified.

List of Focus Groups

To qualify for the research, you have to consider yourself to be an unemployed worker.

This information gathered will form a central part of the AUWU’s efforts to reform the employment services industry over the next two years.​ There are limited spots available so get in quickly. Click here to share on facebook.

If you cannot attend a focus group but would like to participate in this important research, please fill out this testimonial survey​, send us a job agency inquiry​, or simply call our hotline with your concerns.

Look forward to hearing from you.

Block Roll-Out of Demerit Point System

On the 25th of June, the AUWU will launch its campaign to block the roll out of the government’s punitive Demerit Point System set to be introduced on 1 July 2018. As part of this campaign, the AUWU will distribute leaflets across the country providing unemployed workers with the tools they need to fight the harsh new compliance system.
Under this system, for the first time ever the government have given privately owned job agencies the authority to impose penalties without any government oversight and have stripped unemployed workers will have no right of appeal. Unemployed workers who are penalised four times by their job agencies within a six month period will face harsh new financial penalties, including 50% and 100% reduction of their Newstart entitlement. As these decisions will be made by Centrelink, unemployed workers can appeal these decisions.
Already the compliance system is broken. In 2015-16, there were 2 million penalties imposed on the unemployed for the first time. As noted by the National Welfare Rights Network, half of job agency penalties are imposed incorrectly. This harsh new system is designed to push unemployed workers off social security and into homelessness. We need to fight it. Help us Fight the Fine. Sign up to the Job Agency Action Group here and we will keep you updated on our activities: