1. Under 30s kicked off Newstart Entitlement

When: From 1 January 2015

What: All new applicants for the Newstart Entitlement, including people transferring to Newstart from other payments  and existing recipients who are serving a serious non-compliance penalty, will be forced to wait a period of six months until they can receive any payment from Centrelink. After this waiting period of 6 months, Unemployed people will then be entitled to 6 months of Newstart provided they meet their obligations, before being placed back on a 6 month waiting list. This cycle will continue indefinitely.

There are a number of factors that could reduce the waiting period to the minimum waiting period (1 month) or increase this waiting period to the maximum (11 months)

Reduced Waiting period

The 6-month waiting period can be reduced by one month for each year the person has been in full-time paid employment, until the one month minimum waiting period is reached. Casual and Part-time employment history will be calculated “accordingly”.  Each unemployed person will be required to provide evidence of their previous paid work to Centrelink to determine the duration of the initial working period.

Increased waiting period

During the waiting period, Unemployed people will  have to attend regular appointments with a Job Agent and apply for 40 jobs per month. If Unemployed people fail to meet these obligations, they face an 8 week non-payment penalty which will kick in once they start to receive Newstart. In this case, the waiting period can increase to up to 11 months

Complications/exceptions: For those who already receive Newstart by 1 January 2015, these changes will only effect them on 1 July 2015.

Unemployed people who do not have a full capacity to work (i.e. their capacity is less than 30 hours), are in education or training, or have a significant disability will all be exempt from these requirements, as will those with parenting responsibilities.

Effect: The government has calculated that these cuts to Newstart will place a minimum of 100,000 people into extreme poverty per year. They have consequently given $230 million to charities over the next four years to deal with the rise in poverty and homelessness.

Cost/Savings: This cut to the Newstart will save Australia $1.2 billion over 3 years. This is compared to the $131 billion being currently spent on social security.

2. Work for the Dole Expansion (1)

When: 1 July 2015

What: Upon receiving the Newstart Entitlement, all Unemployed people under the age of 30 will be required to do 25 hours of unpaid labour a week for six months.

Those between 30 and 49 will do 15 hours of Work for the Dole. Those Unemployed people between the ages of 50 and 60 will be required to do 15 hours a week of an “approved activity”.

Work for the dole task typically include low-supervision, menial tasks such as cleaning and labouring, but  can include more bizarre activities.

Work for the dole will be mandatory for all jobseekers younger than 50 unless they are working part-time or, in limited cases, undertaking training for a specific job that is in demand in their local area.

Effect: When it is fully operational, 150,000 unemployed Australians each year will undertake Work For the Dole

Cost/Savings: This program, which also includes wage subsidies offered to employers who hire the long-term unemployed, will cost $5.1 billion over 3 years.

3. Work for the dole expansion (2)

When: 1 July 2014

What: In 18 selected areas (mainly rural), unemployed people aged between 18 an 30 who are registered with a Job Services provider and have a Work Experience Requirement will be required to Work for the Dole for 12-15 hours per week

4. Increase Penalties for Job Seekers

When: 15 September 2014

What: Serious failure waiver arrangements will be tightened for Unemployed, as well as those on Youth allowance (other), Parenting Payment Singles and Special Benefit.

A serious failure occurs when:

  • An Unemployed person refuses or fails to accept an offer of a suitable job
  • An Unemployed person is assessed as having no barriers that have significantly impacted on their participation requirements and is found to be persistently non-compliant.

The penalty for a serious failure is eight weeks non-payment.
Unemployed people who experience a serious failure for refusing or not starting work, or a second or subsequent serious failure for persistent non-compliance, will no longer be able to request a waiver due to hardship or by starting a Compliance Activity. They will be required to serve the 8 week penalty period.

5. Payments Frozen for 3 years

When: 1 July 2014

What: Newstart and Youth Allowance rate will be frozen for three years.The eligibility thresholds for non-pension payments including Family Tax Benefit, Child Care Benefit, Child Care Rebate, Newstart Allowance, Parenting Payments and Youth Allowance will also be frozen for 3 years.

Effect: Newstart has not risen in real terms since 1994.


Under these changes, this will continue at least until 2017.

6. Under 25s forced off Newstart

When: January 1 2015

What: The eligibility age for Newstart will rise from 22 to 25 years.

Effect:  All under 25s who are unemployed will be entitled to around $100 less per fortnight.

7. Abolishment of Income Support Payment

When: July 2017

What: The bi-yearly Income Support Payments of $107.80 if you are single or $89.90 if you are partnered, will be abolished. This will apply to people on the following payments:

Effect: People on welfare will be forced deeper into poverty



  1. Government should be focusing on getting people suitable jobs and not just forcing people to work basically almost full time. What time will be had to find work if you are already in a work for dole placement 4-6 hours a day?

    1. I have had a enough with tony abbotts, govement all they do is pick on the unemployment people who are struggling enough has it is looking for work, while the politician are sitting and collect all the benefits they need, not making sense with their policies. Work for the dole 30hrs week for 10.00. What a joke. What about my fuel cost, wear and tear on my vehicle. Well done tony, I will live on the street soon with my kids. What future is left in a Australia for the next generation with manufacturing gone, and nothing made in Australia. NO JOBS.

    2. If I had a nice government job i’d happily turn up to work and bludge and make thousands a week, sadly they are all taken by career bureaucrats and politicians who hate unemployed people

  2. I was doing this for a while, I’m a ruby developer 90k+ pa. I just started my own business.

    Honestly, work for the dole is just a guilt trip for society. You do menial tasks like labelling cans or sort out muesli bars for 4 days a week – July 1. The point of this is?
    It’s not something you can use on your resume as work experience (would you ever hire something who puts “working for the dole” on their resume?) or as a referee – staff is hired from within, meaning your supervisors are off the dole, and kind of crazy. You get $20 added to your fortnightly payment however, game changer.

    The people doing this activity with me were not ever going to find work, they were just misfits within society that didn’t have a place. I felt really sorry for them truly. In that sense I guess their lives are fuller for working 4 days a week instead of 2.

    1. Theres also very strong evidence that Work for the Dole *reduces* employment in low paid jobs. Basic market economics says if theres a demand, theres a price. Thus forced labor schemes like work for the dole break the price mechanism by making low paid workers have to compete with unpaid workers. Essentially this transfers labor from working people to unemployed people without transfering wages (These simply disappear).

      Government needs to decide if its a free market government, and thus opposed to work for the dole, or a government that nationalizes industry by forcing unpaid labor on people.

  3. This is perfect for company’s , they don’t need to hire people anymore just let people on the doll to work free ,

    doesn’t make sense ,

    But one thing company forgot is people that work for the doll is angry ? They not going to work as slave they going to sabotage everything ,

    Working slow and don’t give a damn if the place is clean or not

    1. I agree. Companies can use the service and never have to employ people as the next ON THE DOLL lot will be available. Funny that in the year I am with my PROVIDER that they did not send me for ONE INTERVIEW.

  4. So I just left my job network and I am being forced to work for the dole. This is unbelievable as for the past six weeks I’ve been chasing the to get my rsa sorted as I have employment to enter if the get the bloody certificate. The work the forcing me to do is simply Not suitable, I will b cleaning and letting all day!! I have three slipped discs in my back one of wich permantly compresses my sciatic nerve causeing extreeme pain. And I also suffer severe contact dermatitis Brought on buy cleaning chemicals and the gloves. If I don’t comply my payments will b cut and my son and I will b homeless. What am I ment to do?? Punching out this usless max employment dude seems to b my only option now. Fuck the world!!

  5. i can understand why this has to be (is this the best way to make improvements) ……….. to make people worse off, is insane i just hope that the Abbott Gov has the foresight to have some funds to aid the local communities because homelessness is only going to rise.
    JSP’s are going to be militant it has already began
    perhaps the Abbott Gov should have changed centrelink’s name to Australia’s Free Workforce (AFW) employers would love it, a no pay workforce they’d probably hire people just to sweep the floors (yes a harsh statement indeed) but very close to a reality However!
    i do see a small flaw here where does the money come from to travel to these newly created positions(if any) perhaps another oversight and should be deemed as an excellent excuse as it’s extremely honest( as i don’t have the funds to even buy a train ticket)

  6. It has come to my attention that many of the ” Not for profit organisations” taking advantage of Work for the Dole are churches. Is Work for the Dole just a plan to give more money to the Church?

    1. Kat, you don’t realise how much most churches contribute to the community in the way of charity programs. I know, because I’ve volunteered providing food banks, blanket drives, free meals, free clothes, etc for quite a few of them. Most of these programs are funded by donations (called tithes) from church members and there is some government funding. They are by no means pocketing the cash. They do heaps in the way of supporting the vulnerable.

      1. Yes they do , and they hammer out on the slaves then have lavish weekends
        For a select paid few, no expenses spared ,seems like some communist
        Grooming and for more business donation ,to Bring in the dollars, and
        Then get the unemployed to sort out the pigs food , is it having a heart or
        guilt trip , and the food is out of date if health inspector could see it
        then people might not get sick eating it.

        1. It’s not all out of date food , but I really don’t like going to work, when’ ,I think that church is in error and from what Tolstoy says;.and I could go on And on about
          Historical tax like this and the damage it causes Through ignorance.

  7. They are large US corporations , max ,mission, etc. They are in the good old american way corrupt but untouchable in the eyes of the liberal government.
    Ask your local federal member to show you how max employment became the largest jsa in Oz.

    Be ready for wave of neoliberal foam and froth.

  8. I am 54 years old and volunteer at a centrelink certified volunteer organisation. My JSP has told me that I can no longer volunteer at this organisation but must now “work for the dole” for 15 hours per week. The manager has told me that there is now no difference between volunteering and work for the dole and that if you do volunteer as your RSA it must be at an organisation that has been reviewed and approved as a work for the dole organisation. Therefore I must either 1) stop my volunteer work at my current not for profit charitable organisation and go and work for their work for the dole organisation OR 2) let my JSP arrange for my current not for profit organisation to be accessed and approved as one of their work for the dole organisation OR 3) go off centrelink benefit. This goes against what I have been told by department of employment and what the above article contains however the JSP is all powerful and gets to make you do whatever suits them for them to get money to place you in work for the dole. When I asked them about what I should do when I get some casual part time work when working for the dole, they thought this might be a problem with the work for the dole organisation. In the end, I suggested that I could knock back the paid work so that I could continue doing the work for the dole work and they seemed happy with that suggestion. In the two interviews I have had with this new JSP, they have shown no interest in finding me a job or in the organisations that I have applied for jobs at. I have lost the will to stand up to them as they are not interested in me finding paid work and are only interested in me working for the dole. I am living in an episode of Utopia !

  9. The government needs to wake up and realise what they are doing is not helping people. The 25 hours a week work for the dole for under 30s is ridiculous, when do they expect us to look for work to go cold canvassing or to do anything else we need to do to get work, also the medial tasks given which are supposed to help are crap they make you feel horrible and get you down. For those who already suffer from depression or anxiety all it does it makes it worse let alone it probably causes others to develop depression.

    Then there is the stess of whether you can afford to live. After paying bills, and buying food, there is nothing left or if there is it is enough to pay for a little bit of petrol or maybe to get medication you need. The way I see it is the government wants the rich richer and the poor to die off.

  10. Free labour! What a wonderful concept. If the govt were REALLY serious about helping the country they’d be creating jobs, not making it harder for those who are already doing it tough. Want to help the debit? Start from the top down, not the bottom up. These fat cats are always coming up with new and wonderful ways to help society, meanwhile they sit in their ivory towers, clueless to how hard it is to find work (worldwide) in these tough economic times.

  11. I am 32 yrs old and out of work for 3 months. I have not claimed any benefit yet but if I register for newstart allowance, do I have to start WFD from the very first month?
    If so, then this is insane!! Why they are calling it newstart than!!

  12. What is ridiculos is in alot of cases the employment agencies get paid a bigger fee than actually finding people a real paid job. Why are these employment agencies even getting a fee for a compulsory work for the dole placement. I thought there jobs were to find people paid employment. Paying these agencies big fees for work for the dole placements only encourages them not to find people real jobs. What a fucking joke this is

  13. While registered with a certain “job provider” (cough), I spent the last year and a half volunteering at what was originally a Work For The Dole organisation – who’s boss is basically grooming/training me up for a paid full-time management role. I was told the other day that my maximum time (two years) with that provider has been reached and that I’m to be automatically transferred. Job opportunity lost. Boss furious, Me furious. Government totally oblivious and couldn’t care less that their own policy is outright PREVENTING me from getting full-time work. Stiff shit there. Government should eat said stiff shit and be jobless. They’ll know a better hereafter.

  14. I rent and have 2 children 35% in my care I didn’t attend a day’s work. And lost my payments for 8 weeks. I already work 9hours a week and have my children 5days a fortnight,with reporting job searches, attending appointments ,going to work,and looking after children I couldn’t keep up! I’m not the main carer so I’m in the same boat as someone with NO children when it comes to job search requirements! Our government is a complete joke! Since this article has been published we have gone through 5 prime minister’s! The government backstage there people like they do each other in parliament

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