Employment services: a broken system that breaks people

Australia’s mutual obligation system is broken and is breaking people – say the findings of the Mutual Obligation survey

AUWU President Hayden Patterson said:

“The results of this report are a shocking indictment of the employment services system and fly in the
face of what we’ve been told unemployed workers want and need to help them get jobs.

This is the first quantitative survey of this kind that has been made possible by the strength of the
AUWU’s membership. With over 650 individual responses it is statistically significant, and contains
more data from job seekers than the government’s own expert panel report.

The results clearly show that current Mutual Obligation requirements are punitive and that the
majority of job seekers do not get any benefit from employment services. In particular, respondents
indicated a high level of dissatisfaction at the kind of activities that went into in their job plan. The
results also showed there was very little choice over activities and that job seekers were not listened
to about what they wanted to do.

The AUWU said:

“We call on the Government to undertake an urgent review of these unfair and punitive Mutual
Obligation requirements that are causing needless suffering to thousands of ordinary Australians
every day.

Final report available here: Mutual Obligation Survey Results.


Media Inquiries – Jeremy Poxon Jeremy.poxon@auwu.org.au
Survey background -Simone Casey simone.casey@auwu.org.au