How Employment Agents Push the Unemployed to Suicide: A True Story

Several years ago after experiencing and being witness to an employer who conducted and cultivated the worst in workplace bullying, discrimination and a wilful disregard to an employee/employer agreement I commenced a rightful and just claim for worker’s compensation along with associated action through the Office of the Anti-Discrimination and the Fair Work Ombudsman. The union at the time who represented me was in the early period was supportive but it was soon realised that both the employer and the union had the same legal team…meaning that there was a conflict of interest and during the lengthy time of final settlement I had to seek my own solicitor at my own personal expense. The employer meanwhile whilst this was going on sought extended delays in appearing at both forums claiming “medical problems” which both agencies willingly accepted.


This employer knew the score…delay the case (in collusion with their highly paid legal team) …the employee could not simply resign as the case would crumble however the employee ultimately had little income and had to source basic living expenses from superannuation after threats of foreclosure on the family home. As one can assume Centrelink in any form of assistance was not an option as technically I was still an employee until a “settlement” was reached despite near two years of blank payslips after the worker’s compensation ran out.

After receiving a cash settlement ($7,000) most was swallowed up in legal and medical costs and a “confidentiality clause” was insisted upon, no work references or any noting of my time with this employer could be indicated on my resume. In other words I did not exist.

Under my initial claim I was assigned to a job rehabilitation agency who at the time stated that another position would be made available as returning to the employer in question would be impossible due to retribution. 12 months went by and nothing was forthcoming, it seemed that this agency found it difficult to find me work and the case manager eventually admitted that my time was up.

After applying for Newstart and the $7,000 being taken into account as a settlement lump sum I was assigned to job agency #1. During my initial interview I was told that I had made many mistakes personally and that it would be difficult to gain a new position as “whistleblowers” suffer a form of self sabotage (what an insult) and need to realise that at the end of the day that I was totally responsible for my situation.   Ongoing medical treatment was indicated to this agency but I was constantly warned that my failure to attend interviews in their office (not for any actual jobs) but to simply see “how are you going” would result in my benefits being cut and I was reminded that “we are keeping you”. Not one job was referred to me from this agency and after 3 months they suggested I move on.

Now came job agency #2 who claimed in my initial interview that “don’t worry we will get you a job” and similar patronising comments. Little did I know that this agency had a commercial relationship with my past employer and during a meeting a case manager passed on a message of “G’day” from my ex-boss and his deputy. Furious, I asked if I was being discussed outside the agency as to my situation and my assertion that this officer had breached the 1988 Privacy Act. I was reminded that my attitude was not tolerable to them. Again no job offers were evident and into 6 months with this outfit my own list of applications for various job vacancies was nearing 150 in total. Approaching 9 months of being contracted to this agency suddenly I had a position offered to me subject to the completion of required paperwork, ATO forms etc. which on that very day needed to be completed by 5pm cob. With due haste I completed what was necessary (though the position was sub-contracted by another agency who’s name begins with the letter M) and my work would commence the very next day. This was a menial job at a local vineyard, not exactly my type of work but it was a job and a logical way to step back into the workforce and get off Newstart.

The job was indeed for the next day….and only that day. For 4 hours I was removing rubbish and nothing else. After I contacted my assigned case manager I was allocated to another colleague of his and after multiple excuses I was assured that this was a hic-cup and all would be good. Still nothing apart from a stunning situation 3 months later. During this time I had to seek peripheral assistance from a mental health assistance agency (funded by the Department of Human Services) due to ongoing depression and anxiety. They were understanding but I soon realised there was nothing they could do job wise apart from assigning me to volunteer work. The stunning situation I refer to was when I attended yet another interview at this “job provider agency” (what a joke!) my case manger informed me that her contract was finishing up and that she would be out of a job, I sat in stunned silence whilst she asked my if the mental health assistance agency I was contracted to had any positions that may suit her. To say I was disgusted and disillusioned would be an understatement. I walked out without any motion of anger but to simply say that I wasn’t “feeling too well”.

After a month of waiting I finally had another case manager assigned. The first of four required interviews began with a failure for any sign of the officer to show when it was arranged for me to meet her at my local library. This I knew would appear like a potential breach with Centrelink and my payment could be suspended. I sat here for 2 hours waiting until an assistant librarian (not contracted in any way to this agency) informed me that a message had gone astray. At the time I had no mobile or anyway could be directly contacted…I could not afford one. I add that I was now meeting agency personnel at my local library as I had no vehicle to travel to the central office and public transport was (and still is) non existent .

Upon the eventual meeting with this new case manager I was in a state of confusion, anger and near despair however I gelled well with the officer and after chatting for some time about my fractured work history and the trials of my actions I was told of the most startling situation. This particular case manger had the just recently taken similar action (like me) against a previous employer for workplace bullying, harassment and discrimination. The employer was Job Agency #1 and a settlement had just been finalised before the Fair Work Commissioner.

A rather strange camaraderie was felt by me at the time with this case manager who obviously was shellshocked but for me again no job prospects, referral advice or assistance with resume re-construction was forthcoming, however I was in some way buoyed that I was not alone. This case manager however soon resigned and left the state upon which I was passed on to yet another who assured me of his dedication and understanding but the underlining reminder that I “be good” and adhere to Centrelink requirements. This particular person however was part-time as his other job was in the media as a sports presenter. This role was clearly his chosen domain and often I found appointments postponed and phone calls regarding job vacancies and their outcomes either delayed or simply not returned. At last…one position which suited me and my skills (though only for 2 days a week) was posted on the agency’s rather tacky notice board inside the front door. I submitted my covering letter, amended resume and then nothing. I rang the office and was told the officer was unavailable for “family reasons” but turning on my radio he was cheerfully on- air commentating a local sports program. I then rang the office and told them in a direct manner (I was not rude nor used offensive language) and the receptionist laughed at me when I demonstrated my unhappiness and frustration. Calming down I phoned the employer direct who was understanding and appeared interested in my skills and knowledge however he had not received my application as was the normal protocol from this job agency.

With a clear head and calm rationale I eventually made contact with the case manager who stated that the position was filled by someone else from another agency and that he was unhappy with my attitude as he was attending to his sick child during his absence from the office. I then phoned the employer who confirmed the job was still open and that he was still reviewing applications.

The next day the manager of the agency rang me to confirm that my attitude was unacceptable and that I need to move on and I need “a new set of eyes” to take on my case and that as far as they were concerned there was nothing they could do for me. It was hinted during this conversation that my age (ie.55) was now difficult in the job market though their take on this was later made more clear to me. I was also advised not to contact the case manager anymore as I had upset him and he felt threatened by my demeanour.

I then filed a request for “Freedom of Information” on my file from this agency….many weeks passed and finally it surfaced full of inaccuracies and misinformation which I disputed when I filed an official complaint with the Department of Education and Employment. Despite my just grievance this governing department took note of my situation and relevant concerns but confirmed that they had no policing power in relation to the activity of this job provider who receives funding and incentives from the public purse.

By this time after much heartache, stress and frustration inflicted on me by a system that is clearly broken I had no direction. Though looking back it is now is a haze to me and a time I long to forget. Mounting bills, no job, no money, no perceivable way of getting back on track with a meaningful way of life I took the ultimate decision to end my life. There was no other choice as I saw at the time. This dark period culminated in a lengthy hospital stay after the debilitating effects of an overdose and health ramifications and I was transferred from Newstart to a Disability Pension.

Whilst in the psychiatric ward under guard (to prevent self harm) I eventually started chatting to fellow patients. At the time I thought I was alone with my plight but far from it as I met many of my age who had been treated appallingly by various job provider agencies and placed in the “too hard basket” with no empathy or understanding. It was soon obvious that many were victims of a system that was deceitful and based on KPI’s that meant more than assisting one in need. One lady who told me she had been out of work for six years and was suffering the worst in the condition of shingles.

After several months of rehabilitation and loss of my vehicle along with selling many treasured personal possessions to make ends meet my marriage was dissolving. My partner at the time was only able to gain a casual based position where that too was dominated by a business owner who refused to pay due penalty rates and now is under investigation from the Australian Tax Office for not paying superannuation.

Then I moved onto to job agency #3 after my release and during a 7 month period I had 4 different case managers including one in the beginning who suggested I apply for a role of an assistant in the private disability sector. I was quite unsettled being put foward for a job in an area in which as a patient I had just emerged but I was desperate for work and supportive income. I was then told I would be having a medical and police check and I mentioned my concern that I was still on several medications which could impede on my application. I was told that “what they don’t know won’t hurt them” …in others words hide what is crucial information. At the end of the medical examination it was soon detected that I had medication which was deemed unsuitable for an employee to have in one’s system and this job too was withdrawn.

The case manager transferred me to another colleague who after 3 or so interviews formed his opinion that my initial career path was a mistake and that I should learn from this experience. Leading up to my departure from the agency again no job referrals however I did receive assistance with addressing a selection criteria upon which I was reminded that I had shortcomings in writing grammar, lacking task examples etc. The only thing was that this case manager worked on a selection criteria for a job that had already closed and obviously had not bothered to even read the job notice properly.

A month later a new case manager who was very vocal in her political view insisting that a new incoming Liberal state government will reinvigorate the job market and good times are about to be experienced. Again no job referrals but just the routine checking on my own growing list of applications and where I sourced them from. It’s here that I was told to consider a “holiday” from the system and come back in a couple of months refreshed and healthier.

When I did return yet another new case manager was frank in his assessment that things are indeed difficult and perhaps I should move on elsewhere. He gave me a fortnight to consider this but he phoned me at home to confirm that I would be “exited” and wish me well. I was still holding the phone in my hand when he finished the call as he could not wait to hang up. Thinking back I’m certain I held the phone for near five minutes in a strange mix of surprise and dismay.

The last job agency #4 who I signed up for in late 2014 was at least honest in saying that they had nothing on their books but with any jobs I personally applied for they could offer a wage subsidy. Of the two jobs in which I gained an interview the agency marketing officer followed up with this offer but informed me that the potential employer should be aware in some way of my health condition. That immediately ensured that my application would not progress any further and future fortnightly interviews were without any substance other than to be told to be positive and create my personal network in the local community.

My final case manager was a young lady who obviously found my situation very difficult to address and her ability to grasp the problems I have encountered way out of her domain however she seemed concerned. As I found that again and again that I was going nowhere I requested to be exited during my last meeting. “That’s easily processed” she stated … “I can do that now on my computer” to which she hit the appropriate keystroke with the remark “done”. All I could say was “yes…I have been”. After a pep talk and insisting that I not get despondent I was at least assured that if I ever passed by the office I could drop in and help myself to the coffee machine.

That’s my story, it’s not glossed up by any means but a true account of which I never thought I would ever experience.


  1. So sorry for your suffering. The societal culture of bullying & harassment causes so much grief. Am concerned for anyone on psychiatric medications, having had an almost deadly encounter with such, on top of receiving much abuse, has been difficult. Have you researched psychiatry & the drugs they use, independently? Can pass you on some details if you need some help. Dr Peter Breggin can be a good start in regards to getting off those drugs safely. There are many healthy lifestyle alternative that can serve you much better in the long run. Hope that you can find a safe pathway out of the challenges imposed on you. The unemployment/underemployment figures are much higher than stated & a result of purposeful poor policy & political agendas imho.
    Best wishes to you.

    1. I am wondering if you are a Scientologist from your comments on psychiatry? Hopefully you are not using this poor man’s difficult situation to underhandedly promote that cult. Psychiatry helps many people suffering from many conditions and should not be discounted with such a blanket statement.

  2. Gosh, I’m tearing up It breaks my heart what you have had to endure. Yes, I ” blew the whistle” on my employer also. Being tenacios I refused to resign.On two occasions I bluntly spoke to about HIS responsibility to stop the unethical conduct.Fortunately her was very angry towards me and I was swiftly transferred to head office where I was given very good jobs…and again found our aboutvtgecState managers unethical conduct with another department.. Humm.
    I haven’t funisedvyour ” biography” yet…Well stated.Yes, the system is ” rotten”…

  3. Similar to my situation and I sympathise. It is very damaging but quite common to be treated like this. If is often the rich and the churches that do this sort of thing and if you dont work 24/7 they dont like you and send you away. Some even try to use you name and documents to gain work for someone who is prepared to die from work overload and guess who gets your money. It is paramount to murder and fraud but they call it helping you

  4. This is a common experience older people ffaceI volunteer ed at an Employment Agency.I was treated with respect, included and in return for my clerical work I was to be given assistance writing up a new Resume.Unfortunately I became I’ll…and almostblist my community house as I was unable to get out of bed.I initiated another add mission to a ” mental health unit” …I read some if the absolute ” rubbish” basically psychiatric labelling. I am a very strong person…I refuse to be Medicated and ” play their game”, by shutting up- I say what sayy want to hear…

  5. Unfortunately this is a very common occurrence. In the last three years I have had 4 different agencies with 8+ different workers. Instead of any of them helping me, or finding suitable jobs to put me forward for, They have all instead tried to make me do work for the dole (which was scrubbing graffiti off of public toilets) or made me do workshops on “Thinking positive while unemployed.” The only job they have found me in this whole time is one where I would have had to leave my current part-time permanent job, In order to have a months worth of work in a casual position. (when at the end of it I would have no job at all) My other personal favorite is where they make you come in, and sit there the whole day on their computer looking for jobs. If you leave, suggest that you can do this from the comfort of your own home or god forbid have something else to do, The old we will breach you will come out. I live over 20km from my employment pathway provider but still they seem to think me having to go in every week for appointments (where the make you wait half an hour, call you in ask if you’ve applied for work and tell you what the next horrid thing they have planned to drive you insane is and then tell you you’re done. All in all taking 5 minutes and really not worth your effort or time) is perfectly ok.
    I had one worker who was an absolute monster. I always call if I can not make appointments as it is only common courtesy… This particular worker knew what days I worked, continually made appointments on those days and even when I would call to let her know I would be breached. She breached me all up three times in two months. I started recording my calls so I would have proof to centrelink that yes I had called, and she was lying when she said I had not. The last time I saw her, she was again trying to get me to come in. I said I have an appointment with centrelink at that time. She then said I will make it half an hour later. I then told her that the appointment was at a suburb about an hours drive away and even that if the staff at centrelink were running completely on time (unlikely) I would still not be able to make that appointment in time. Her response? “Well I guess you are going to get breached then” Upset and angry I went into the nearest centrelink and told them the story. They were for once very helpful and changed my appointment so I could go to that office and also make my appointment. They also gave me the number to complain against my worker. The next scheduled appointment I showed up and waited for my appointment. Sick to my stomach about seeing this worker again. 45 minutes past and finally another worker came out to ask if I was being seen to. I got told by this worker with a big smirk that the person in question no longer worked there. Very happy with this outcome I asked what had happened. Apparently this nasty excuse for a human being had gotten a promotion!!!!!! The whole system needs a major overhaul.

    And I would just like to add that whenever I have gotten work without assistance from them, I always write that they didn’t help me, that I did it myself on the review form they send out. These time wasting, harassing, horrible human hating people claim they help people when really they get paid to treat people like crap, they sure as hell don’t deserve to claim they helped when they did not.

  6. I think all cases of bullying by employers should be looked into by a separate agency that has no affiliations with the employer or their insurance agencies.

    I have found from my own experience that over 55’s are targeted by employers for bullying as this is the only way they can get rid of the employees. These over 55’s have often worked many years for the same employer and have been exemplary employees, but suddenly find they are the target of their company. The reason I think they are a target? They are a high on cost employee, often with long service leave, annual leave etc and years of service.

    Employers are bullying these over 55’s out of the work place in favour of cheaper junior workers. You will often find that suddenly their work is not up to standard, they are accused of all sorts of things that are not true, they are picked on for being a minute late when a younger worker is half an hour late with no retribution, the older worker will be given more and more work then criticised for staying back and finishing the job. Their hours are changed, their lunch times are changed, their holidays are cancelled or not approved until the last minute. They will be asked to do things that are unethical, and then the employer will be ANGRY when the employee will not be unethical, this will then be turned into the employee not following orders. I have even heard bosses say in meetings that they are doing these people a favour by moving them on, they should retire!

    It’s all just bullsh..t.

    I would love to tell you my story but it’s even longer!

  7. Sounds so familiar and what has happened to me. Leaving me broke, unemployed and with lies not backed by medical opinion on official files all over a State Government public sector. I was told by the equivalent of a Director-General if I told anyone about his aggressive meeting with me, or take it further he would see to it that I’ll never work in Qld again. The HR Manager who was secetary for the meeting also said to me, we will destroy you if you dare to defend yourself about this unlawful attack…so far very true. The bullying occurred to me on the eve of the second anniversary of my Father’s death, where I was traveling interstate to be with family to unveil a memorial plaque in his honour). When further hurdles were put in the finalisation of a Workover and QCat appeal, that had already taken 21 days and 4 years, with a likely added 30 days of hearings and 4 more years. I withdrew the appeal as it would take too long and I could not afford more than the $160,000 spent in medical and legal fees to date. At this point I was then sacked by my Government Agency. What really hurts has been the streams of correspondence, repeating a lie, making up medical diagnosis, and rewriting of facts accepted by the Industrial Relations Commission in the hearings to date. This ongoing act of fiction will endure I’m told until I leave the State. This from a public sector department that has the call on integrity, ethics, probity and accountability of Whole of Government activities.

  8. I got nothing but heart break from government funded DES providers all I got was work experience which I gladly took with the hope that It may lead to a job by the end of the week but It didn’t, I felt very used to say the least & I took myself out of the system for many years as I was a volunteer job seeker so I was not obliged to look for work. It’s only been this year that I’ve actually had some success looking for work myself as I’ve done three contracts as a Social Media Manager for a non government funded disability employment service.

    I’ve been able to do this work from my home In rural Vic & the firm is bases In Canberra so It’s been a blessing plus they have allowed flexibility with my hours, I’m looking for 25 hours of work a week as I rely on disability services to live In the home so having times off during the week is important. The services I use don’t operate outside work hours so I have no choice but to work around their schedule I’ve placed adds everywhere but no luck.

  9. they are cutting people off all over australia and the Agencies are a absolute nightmare to deal with,
    i don’t want to go into my story as its complicated and involved a family members death.
    but i have been cut off with no income for almost 12 months now and would be homeless if it was not for relatives,
    Centrelink and the Agencies do not care about your health issues, financial issues or even if your brother just died,
    i just cannot deal with the arguments and their lies any longer and i just gave up after they cut me off.
    i have decided that suicide is my only option left to me now,
    i don’t want to burden my family any longer, its just not fair on them
    the depression is just getting unbearable and i hate what its doing to my family etc
    it will suck but its better to just get it over with now and end it
    the longer i leave it then the worse things will get and the sooner i end it
    the sooner they can get over it and move on with their lives
    My grandfather had his 16th birthday on the kokoda trail and father served in veitnam for this country
    and now i am totally ashamed to call myself an australian
    sometimes suicide is the only solution and thats totally fine with me
    i was angry for a long time with centrelink etc but i have come to accept it and accept my fate
    suicide is not so bad, its kinda peacefull once you have made your mind up to end it
    all the best to All you out there trying to survive n deal with centrelink n the Agencies

    1. I just read your story maybe we can’t always win because all these people lie and stick together. Have you ever heard people that get bullied sometimes bully other people to make themselves feel better.

      Greg I was crying today 25 September 2017 after I left my job provider I felt hopeless and everytime I disagreed with my consultant I seemed to get more harassment from my consultant. I would state the guidelines to her as I am a principal carer but that did not matter. I would go to doctors and talk to them perhaps you need to see a therapist but please try to get help lifeline number is 13 11 14 you are not alone about how you feel these organizations feed from the federal government and the federal government gives them the power to treat and harrass people like us who really meet our mutual obligations and want to find suitable work. Please email back not all humanbeigns are horrible please call life line 13 11 14 nicki

  10. The time now is 2250 hours (or 10.50 p.m.) and it is Tuesday 5 December 2017. I have been reading several comments made by those who have been through the proverbial revolving door of Job Providers, Centrelink, DES and the rest. I am 62. In 2007 until 2011 I was my late mother’s full-time carer. As soon as I had to admit my then living mum into a nursing home, Centrelink just gave me 14 weeks to know what I wanted to do with the rest of my life. Fast forward to now, 2017. I have been unemployed for six years, having gone through several Job Providers. I am now with Max Employment and have been for close to two years plus. Tomorrow I wish to go into Max Employment to let them know that it has become too much and that I am going to voluntarily extract myself from their Job Provider case management list. That would mean that Centrelink will have to cease my payments. I also suffer from Depression and Anxiety. It is amazing how many people are suffering from this same mental health issue. Is this not proof that the entire system that is meant to assist people who have been out of work, is actually the very cause as to why unemployed people are taking desperate measures such as the chappy, that said he was going to take his own life, (post Greg September 10, 2017, at 1.24 p.m.). It is the structure of the system due to the type and content of Legislation that has been passed over the years, that is heavily contributing to those who are unemployed being further affected by mental health issues as there are no programmes that are in place that can work efficiently to be real enough to place people into work. Look how many people have sent a comment to this website. How can there be so many Australian people with the same type of mental health issues, and the Government is either ignoring this or not wanting to acknowledge that their Legislation is actually going to be a “death sentence” to some who can no longer cope with the type of situations that they find themselves in whilst going through the “revolving door” of this debilitating form of dehumanisation leading for many to desperation, despondency, depression, and death. Yes, many words starting with the letter “D”. Mainly because the Legislation of this Government and previous Governments when it comes to “attempting to assist the unemployed”, is dumb, defunct, deliberately humiliating, and is the deal for them but the no deal for us. During my younger years I had the energy to go out and look for work. When I was 17, I went out every day for three weeks, before I found a job. Admittedly, when I was interviewed I broke down in tears, sobbing that I needed a job, and the boss took me on. I was working for the ETU, Electrical Trades Union, at the time. Now, after both parents have passed away, my mother only last year, I have still not been able to totally move forward. So many people need to have genuine Job Employment Providers. I feel that once a person is over 60, that they are not so employable and for those of us who have become welfare dependent, trapped by Government Legislation that is too harsh, and unrealistic, then the issue with mental health problems will just escalate. As I have said before in this post, it is the system of the Unemployment Job Provider/Centrelink scenario that is the causal factor for people becoming unwell with mental health issues as the weight of how to survive every day is upon so many. Like many people throughout Australia in our predicament, who would have thought we would be in this situation, where the younger population, are able to get work, and where immigration has robbed many older Australians of jobs that they may have had the opportunity to apply for. On Sunday, I took myself to the Sydney Fish Markets. I was there for about three hours. Not one employee was Australian. Every employee was young, Asian and perhaps being underpaid. That is also rife amongst the workforce in the area of hospitality, and such jobs as those at the Sydney Fish Market. The same is in nursing. That was my background. Over the past ten to twenty years, overseas nurses from Asian, Philippines, India, Pakistan, China, Middle East have flooded Australian through the courses whereby they can obtain their Certificate III in Aged Care. That is due to the Government not capping the quota of overseas nurses, nurse assistants, etc coming into the country. Every nursing home, and hospital you will see that the majority of nursing staff are non-Australian. That includes kitchen staff, cleaning staff, administration staff as well. And the Government wants to know why our health industry is falling apart. Years ago, when the Irish nurses came to work in Australia, they were amongst the best and most professional nurses a hospital could employ. Now the quality of care for our aged in the nursing homes, hospitals has fallen to a miserable third world level. When a person turns 60, (over 55), there are fewer job vacancies, since immigration has enabled many of those jobs that we could have applied for to be made available to those who have not been born here. This all goes into the unemployment mix. It all has a part of the ingredient for the whole. The Government had not kerbed immigration. They say we must be a multicultural society, but wouldn’t they know that with a growing next generation from migrant parents, that there would be fewer job vacancies for those of the older generation, namely you and me, who were born in the 1950’s 1960’s or 1970’s. Government politicians are out of touch. Where are the solid programmes, that train older people. I asked my Job Provider where were the training couses where I could be trained up to be a Case Manager with an employment agency and why had not they developed such a training program. I did not get much of a reply. Why have Government politicians raised the Aged Pension age to 70 by 2023. As it is I would have to wait until I am 67 before I can obtain the Aged Pension. Do they think I will be on Newstart until then? I have already been on Newstart since 2011. That is six years too long. Folks, I believe that the Government has chartered a course for those unemployed who will simply be “stuck” in the red tape of bureaucracy until Aged Pension, that is if we “don’t fall off the perch” before then. A great saving to the Government for those who pass away from their medical conditions, who take their own lives, or who just stay on Newstart until they are of Aged Pension age. I am sure though there is a way out, and does not mean that one has to take their own life. A petition from the long-term mature aged unemployed of Australia to the Government addressing the issues that the Government is not addressing simply because they do not want to. I would suggest submission to be objective including factual details of experiences with Job Providers etc. We never have the media invovled. I would think this would take much consideration due to the legal, ethical and financial factors. Has anyone ever thought that some of the stories that have been submitted here would be akin to “crimes against humanity”. Where are the human rights lawyers, or those Lawyers who are expert in Social Security Law. Surely there would be those legal minds who could take on the Government and show them the “error of their ways”, when it came to the long term unemployed. I never thought I would be in this position. I never thought I would be unemployed for so long and I never thought that I would be on Newstart for six years or go from Job Provicer to Job Provider ad nauseum.

  11. The current government should be ashamed that they are at the helm of this diabolical inhumane system!

    Time family members of unemployed people started fighting for better conditions for their unemployed family members.

    The current system is a disgrace with the tax payer funded emotional and financial abuse going on daily.

    We need a ROYAL COMMISSION now!

  12. The neither the current government nor the opposition care – you must fully understand this point lest you be led astray on the proverbial goose-chase. I have yet to hear the labour party saying that it will dismantle the current system, and will increase the rate of benefits and lower the age for the aged pension to 60. Forget the politicians – collectively – they do not care.

    As a retired FED I have many contacts in the service – many retired and some still active. I know that many Centrelink staff possessing a true sense of honour and duty are continually threatened by their masters in Canberra with prosecution under the Federal Crimes Act should they divulge anything to the public. The other Centrelink staff – those with no honour and no sense of duty who are only in it for the pension and the perks, and they utterly despise you. You are an inconvenience – someone taking tax-payer money. Of course they along with the politicians have no qualms about sticking their snouts in to the public trough – and feeding like frenzied sharks on the dying carcass that was once called Australia. This is why I do not bother writing letters to government agencies complaining – they do not care – or they are threatened with disciplinary action should they care.

    The whole system comprising the Government and its Public Service are rotten to the core.

    Get yourself a good lawyer, perhaps raise a class action. Get some of your people into Parliament. Given the number of unemployed/underemployed people in Australia you should be able to get a few senators working for you. Demonstrate at the Offices of sitting members of Parliament, especially Labour Members of Parliament – and make YouTube videos. Use these videos to shame individual politicians. One thing I will guarantee about politicians and public servants is that they hate to be made publically accountable for their actions. They love the money and the perks but abhor the responsibility that goes with the money and the perks. Many Australians have no real knowledge of the level of corruption with JSP’s and their fellow collaborators in Centrelink.

  13. I have recently come into Centrelink’s realm of concern. Several years ago, while still running a small business, I fought to get a Low Income Health Care card. Initially, and upon the first few renewals, my application had to go to appeal before they would grant it. But I was eligible, and each time my appeal was successful. So why force me through it?
    In 2016 I sold my business and concentrated on studying a PhD. I started dipping into my (dainty, lady-sized) super after the business sale proceeds ran out and in December 2018 applied for Newstart. It took 9 weeks, with increasing pressure from me from the 6-week mark, to start receiving payment. I rang a random employment agency because the Centrelink website said they don’t pay Newstart until you have had a meeting with an Employment Services Provider, but they told me Centrelink has to set that up. When I mentioned it to a person I saw face-to-face at Centrelink, he said he didn’t know anything about ‘that’ (what, Job Service Providers? me needing to be linked up with one? my payments being dependent upon seeing one?)
    He was quite cross that he was going to have to take someone off ‘other duties’ to process my claim. What should be more important to the government provider of social support than the provision of funds to stop someone starving to death (or, as noted by others above, contemplating accepting Centrelink’s assessment of them as a bother and topping themselves)? Possibly attending to all those appeals that they force claimants to go through in an effort to put them off claiming something they are legally entitled to?
    I’ve now received a letter talking about cancelling my Mutual Obligations Exemption (which no-one has told me that I have) and requiring me to attend all appointments with my Job Service Provider (something no-one’s discussed with me – still, 4 months after my initial application for Newstart) and Job Plan (again, which no-one’s discussed with me). I battled the Centrelink phone system for three days until I got someone who told me that I needed to lodge a new medical certificate (which I knew), but upon checking my last one, she said the doctor had filled it out all wrong, as so many of them do [!]. They should put that my health issues are not permanent and are improving, not that they’re permanent and either stable or getting worse. I can only get a Mutual Obligation Exemption if I’m well enough to look for fulltime work, apparently.
    And it’s not about lying on the form, which is a big no-no, according to this young woman, (well, der!) but it’s about filling in the form in the way that the system requires.
    I can’t reconcile filling out a form to say I’m well enough to look for fulltime work (which I’m not) in order to get an exemption from looking for work, as opposed to filling out a form truthfully (or as this young woman would say, ‘wrongly’) with the consequence of not getting an exemption, having to make myself more unwell by trying to look for work that no sensible employer would give me.
    Talking to people about my growing list of bad experiences with Centrelink, it appears that the system is designed to inflict the maximum harm on the people unfortunate enough to need to participate in it. And the system is working well, just as designed.

  14. I am 62 this year and my husband left me for a young woman he met in China. I have been on New start for nearly 4 years. I too think about suicide as I can’t get any work. My life is all about waiting for the next meagre payment and always asking for more time to try and pay my bills. I don’t know what to do.

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