Your Right to Change Employment Service Providers

Changing Employment Service Providers is a very important right of unemployed workers. If your employment service provider refuses to fulfill their obligations towards you, requesting a transfer to another provider can be an effective way to ensure you receive the appropriate treatment.

If you believe you have a valid reason to transfer, the AUWU recommend you request a transfer by calling the the Department of Employment Customer Service Line on 1800 805 260 (free call from landlines).

Alternatively, you can download a transfer by agreement form here. You will have to sign and submit this form (either physically or via email) to both your current job agency, and the job agency you want to transfer to.

Before you try and organise your transfer, click here to search for job agencies in your area to find one close to you.

According to the law, you can transfer in the following five circumstances:

1.5   Changing Providers Due to Change of Address

If you change address you and you become closer to another provider, you are within your rights to request a transfer:

A Stream Participant [Newstart recipient] may, at any time be transferred from the provider to another Employment Provider:

  1. by DHS or the Department, where the Stream Participant moves to a new location that is not within a reasonable distance of a Site of the Provider

                                                                                                                                                       Jobactive Deed 2015-2020, Section 81.1

When a Stream Participant notifies the Department of Human Services or their Employment Provider that they have changed their address, the Department’s IT Systems will determine whether the Stream Participant needs to be transferred.

The determination will be based on whether:

  • the Stream Participant has moved to a new Employment Region
  • the Stream Participant’s current Employment Provider has a Site that services their new address
  • the Stream Participant has relocated to a remote location covered by the Remote Jobs and Communities Programme (not covered by this Guideline).

Note: Employment Provider Sites are mapped to postcodes in the Department’s IT Systems.

Where the Stream Participant changes their address and their current Employment Provider has a Site that services their new residential postcode, the Stream Participant will be automatically transferred to that Site (unless they are already connected to that Site).

Where the Stream Participant’s new address is not serviced by a Site of their current Employment Provider, the Department’s IT Systems will automatically transfer the Stream Participant to another Employment Provider in accordance with clause 81.1(a) of the Deed.

Note: Where the Stream Participant wishes to remain with their current Employment Provider, they can request a transfer back to a Site of their current Employment Provider in accordance with this Guideline.

Note: The exception to this transfer process is where a Stream Participant is subject to a Relocation Assistance to Take Up a Job Agreement. In this case the Stream Participant will not be transferred as a result of a change of address

Transfers Guideline, p. 2

1.5.1   Changing Providers by Agreement

Stream Participants may transfer to a new Employment Provider if their current Employment Provider, their proposed Employment Provider and the Stream Participant all agree to the transfer

A request for a transfer by agreement must be completed by both the current and proposed Employment Providers and the Stream Participant.

There are two options for lodgement:

  1. Lodgement on the Australian JobSearch website
  • A request for a transfer by agreement can be lodged electronically via the Australian JobSearch website [call the JobSearch website on 13 62 68 for advise]
  • The Stream Participant commences the process by lodging a request on the Australian JobSearch website. The Stream Participant’s request will first be sent to the proposed Employment Provider for agreement
  • If the proposed Employment Provider agrees, the transfer request will be sent to the Stream Participant’s current Employment Provider.

If both Employment Providers agree, the Stream Participant will be automatically transferred. The current and proposed Employment Providers must action the request for a transfer by agreement within three business days of receiving the request otherwise the request will be automatically declined.

Note: If either the current or the proposed Employment Provider declines the request, the transfer will not be actioned and the reason will be entered into the online form. The form will then be sent to the Stream Participant.

  1. Lodgement through the Employment Services System (ESS)

A transfer by agreement request can also be lodged in the Department’s IT Systems using the Transfer by Agreement Form, which is available on the Provider Portal and the Department’s public website:

 

  • When all parties agree and sign theTransfer by Agreement Form, the current Employment Provider must enter the details into the Department’s IT Systems to action the transfer. The current Employment Provider must retain a copy of the signed form
  • Where either the current or the proposed Employment Provider declines the transfer request, they should be informed of the outcome of the request.

 

Note: Stream Participants with a current Level 3 Incident Report (refer to the Servicing Job Seekers with Challenging Behaviours Guideline) and Pre-release Prisoners cannot have their transfer completed through the Australian JobSearch website.

 

The Employment Provider of a Stream Participant with a current Level 3 Incident Report (including Pre-release Prisoners) must contact the Department’s Employment Systems Help Desk on 1300 305 520 to facilitate a transfer where agreement has been reached by all parties. Pre-release Prisoners will need to use the Transfer by Agreement Form which the current Employment Provider must lodge using ESS, as outlined above.

  Transfers Guideline, p. 2-3

1.5.2   Changing Providers Due to Relationship Failure

A stream Participant may, at any time, be transferred from the Provider to another Employment Provider by the Department where the Department is satisfied that:

 

  1. The Stream Participant [Newstart recipient] will receive services that could better enhance their Employment prospects from the other Employment Provider; or
  2. The Stream Participant and the Provider are unable to achieve or maintain a reasonable and constructive servicing relationship, as determined by the Department

 Jobactive Deed 2015-2020, 81.1 (b)

 

Where the Department determines that the relationship between the Employment Provider and the Stream Participant has broken down, the Department will transfer the Stream Participant to another Employment Provider (see clause 81.1(b) of the Deed) where one is available.

 

Stream Participant initiated request

Where a Stream Participant considers that it cannot maintain a reasonable and constructive relationship with their Employment Provider, they can contact the Department’s National Customer Service Line. A customer service officer will record the request and help to make the transfer where appropriate.

Employment Provider initiated request

Where an Employment Provider considers that it cannot maintain a reasonable and constructive servicing relationship with a Stream Participant, it can complete the Transfer Due to Relationship Failure Form and forward this to the Department’s National Customer Service Line for investigation. The Department will consider the request based on the evidence provided, including whether the Employment Provider has followed the process outlined in the Servicing Job Seekers with Challenging Behaviours Guideline.

Approval/transfer process

Where the Department’s National Customer Service Line approves a transfer due to relationship failure, it will select an alternative Employment Provider where one is available. In doing so it will take into account a range of factors, including Star Ratings and provider location, and facilitate the transfer of the Stream Participant. The Stream Participant will be sent a letter advising them of their new Employment Provider and the date and time of their next appointment.

Where the Department’s National Customer Service Line does not approve the transfer, it will notify the Employment Provider and/or the Stream Participant in writing. If the Employment Provider and/or Stream Participant are not satisfied with the outcome, they can request a review of the decision by notifying the Department’s National Customer Service Line in writing within 14 business days of the original decision.

Review process

Where the Employment Provider and/or Stream Participant request a review of the original decision, it will be undertaken by a Departmental officer who was not involved in the original approval process. In undertaking the review, the Departmental officer should consider whether the Employment Provider has applied the strategies outlined in the Servicing Job Seekers with Challenging Behaviours Guideline.

If the outcome of the review is that the request for transfer is approved, the Department’s National Customer Service Line will action the transfer using the process outlined earlier in this section.

Where the outcome of the review is that the request for transfer is not approved, the Employment Provider and/or Stream Participant will be notified in writing and the Employment Provider must continue to provide Services to the Stream Participant.

Transfers Guideline, p. 4

 

1.5.3   Changing Providers for Better Servicing

 

A stream Participant may, at any time, be transferred from the Provider to another Employment Provider by the Department where the Department is satisfied that:

 

  1. The Stream Participant [Newstart recipient] will receive services that could better enhance their Employment prospects from the other Employment Provider; or
  2. The Stream Participant and the Provider are unable to achieve or maintain a reasonable and constructive servicing relationship, as determined by the Department

Jobactive Deed 2015-2020, 81.1 (b)

 

Where a Stream Participant has demonstrated to the Department’s satisfaction that they will receive better Services from another Employment Provider, the Stream Participant may be transferred to that Employment Provider (see clause 81.1(b)).

 

To request a transfer, a Stream Participant may contact the Department’s National Customer Service Line, which will assess the request. Where the Department determines that the Stream Participant has demonstrated that they will receive better servicing from another Employment Provider, the Department will action the transfer. Where the Department does not agree to the request, the Stream Participant will be informed of the decision.

Transfers Guideline, p.4 

1.5.4   Changing Providers Due to ‘Maximum Time with Provider’ Policy

A stream Participant may, at any time, be transferred from the Provider to another Employment Provider by the Department where:

 

  1. a Stream A Participant’s Period of Registration exceeds 24 months; or
  2. a Stream B Participant or Stream C Participant’s of Registration exceeds 36 months; and
  • they remain unemployed

unless:

  1. the Stream Participant achieves an Employment Outcome, in which case the time under clause 81.1(d) (i) and (ii) runs from the date of the achievement of the Outcome; or
  2. there is no available Employment Provider in the relevant Employment Region for the Stream Participant to transfer to.

Jobactive Deed 2015-2020, 81.1 (d)

Additionally, please note that:

  • The Period of Registration pauses for Suspensions
  • Under the Maximum Time with Provider policy the term ‘remain unemployed’ means that the Employment Provider has not claimed a Full Outcome or Partial Outcome for the Stream Participant over the relevant period. When an Outcome Payment is claimed, a new two-year/three-year period commences.

The maximum time with provider transfer will not occur when a Stream Participant is:

 

  • commenced in a job placement that is tracking towards an Outcome Payment
  • participating in a work for the dole place or other activity to meet their annual activity requirement
  • relocating for employment through Relocation Assistance to Take Up a Job, has signed agreement in place and has an ‘expected to start’ job placement recorded in the Department’s IT Systems.

 

When the Job Seeker Placement ends or the Job Seeker Placement does not lead to a four-week or 12-week Outcome Payment, the Stream Participant will be transferred. When the participation in the Work for the Dole Place or other activity ends the Stream Participant will be transferred.

The Department will take into account a range of factors when determining which Employment Provider the Stream Participant will transfer to, including the Stream Participant’s proximity to the gaining Employment Provider; and the gaining Employment Provider’s Star Rating.

Where a Stream Participant is transferred under the Maximum Time with Provider policy, the Stream Participant can request a transfer for better servicing or transfer by agreement. However, they cannot move back to their original Employment Provider unless there are exceptional circumstances.

Transfers Guideline, p.5

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