Members Letter to Job Agency

Dear Sir/Madam,

RE: Suspension of Payment

I refer to your correspondence dated 28/09/2016. I believe that Sarina Russo Job Access Taylors Lakes are in breach the Job Active Deed 2015-2020, The Social Security Act 1991 and The Social Security (Administration) Act 1999. 

On September 26 at 11:11am I phoned your organisation and advised a male receptionist that I was unable to attend my appointment the following day, as I would be undertaking paid work. This conversation lasted 3 minutes and 58 seconds. The male sounded very nervous and did not appear to be adequately trained.

The following day I received a text message stating that my payments had been suspended as I had not attended my appointment.

I attempted to resolve this matter on the 29 September. I contacted your office at 10:11am and spoke to a female receptionist for 6 minutes and 36 Seconds. I was told: “I should get off newstart” and that they have no record of me calling. Once again the fact that I was undertaking paid employment and was unable to attend seemed to confuse the receptionist.

Section 631 of The Social Security Act 1991 states:

A newstart allowance is not payable to a person if the person refuses or fails, without reasonable excuse, to comply with a requirement made of the person under section 67, 68 or 192 of the Administration Act.

Section 42UA of The Social Security (Administration) Act 1999 states:

An excuse cannot be a reasonable excuse unless: a) before the start of the activity on the day concerned or before the time of the appointment, the person notified the excuse to the person or body specified in the employment pathway plan as the person or body to whom prior notice should be given if the person is unable to undertake the activity or attend the appointment;

I notified your organisation prior to the appointment with a valid reason (undertaking paid work). Any rational person would view this as reasonable. My mobile phone log clearly shows that I called your office. Your phone records would also show this. I believe you have treated me unfairly and disrespectfully, and are in breach of the legislation.

I also believe that your behaviour towards me may be a breach of the Job Active deed 2015-2020 (the deed). I refer you to section 6:

Provider’s conduct

6.1 The Provider must, at all times, act in good faith towards the Department and Participants, and in a manner that maintains the good reputation of the Services.

6.2 The Provider must:

(a) not engage in, and must ensure that its Personnel, Subcontractors, Third Party IT Providers and agents do not engage in, any practice that manipulates or impacts, as relevant, any aspect of the Services including any:

(i) Record, including any Documentary Evidence;

(ii) Outcome or Work for the Dole Place;

(iii) Payment or Payment-related process;

(iv) Participant or Employer; or

(v) monitoring of the Services by the Department, with the effect of improperly, as determined by the Department, maximising payments to, or otherwise obtaining a benefit for, the Provider or any other person or persons;

I would like this complaint investigated promptly by a senior member of your staff pursuant to section 30 of the deed. If I am unsatisfied with your response I will progress this matter to the Department of Employment, The Commonwealth Ombudsman and my local Federal Member of Parliament. I want to be reengaged so I can report my income to Centrelink as is my right.

Yours Sincerely