Report the Rort Newsletter Issue #5


After a short break we’re continuing to send out your stories of job agency abuse each week, as reported on our forum. In the past few weeks we’ve noticed a pattern of mothers being forced to bring their children into job agencies while they do job search activity, which they could easily undertake at home. The necessity of caring for your children is a legitimate reason for not attending appointments and activities. If you’ve experienced this misconduct then please share your story, and also make a complaint to the Department of Jobs and Small Business on 1800 805 260.


I recently finished 6 months WFTD, doing 16 hours per fortnight. Yesterday I had an appointment with my JSP to “negotiate” a new job plan. I had been given a new consultant for this. She started by saying that my Annual Activity requirements had increased, and that next time I did WFTD I would be doing extra hours. She said that also because of my increased Annual Activity, I would have to attend their office 3 times per week for 2 hours at a time. So, 6 hours per week in total. for “job searching” on their computers. She said I was not excluded over school holidays from attending these “activities”, and that I would have to bring my children into the office….

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I’m a single parent of primary school-aged children. A few years ago I was moved off the Single Parent Pension and onto Newstart. Since then I have been routinely harassed, bullied and misled by my “JobActive” Employment Provider. Despite never being in any breach of the “Mutual Obligation Requirements”, (including doing 6 mths Work for the Dole), I have on numerous occasions had my payments suspended due to my Employment Provider’s errors…

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My brother has developed schizophrenia and he is unemployed. Yes it has been diagnosed by the medical profession. I have tried to help him by getting him on newstart and tried to get help via mental health department to get him assessed for a disability pension. No luck…

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I’m 45, homeless (sleeping under bridge at the moment), have been diagnosed with severe social anxiety, major depressive disorder and suicidal ideation.
Over the last 2 years I have been suspended over 40 times. None of those suspensions was upheld on appeal because all were in violation of the deed of service or social security law…

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Calm Your Farm: Scott Morrison wants to force unemployed workers out into rural areas to work on farms, under threat of losing their social security payments. Not only is this proposal a further blow to the rights of unemployed workers, it would put their lives at risk — last year the government’s Seasonal Worker Program claimed 12 lives. Morrison’s government should be working to create jobs, not devising further punishments for unemployed workers. Sign the petition!

Unable to get through to Centrelink? Contact Keenan, the minister for Human Services, and your local MP.

If you’ve complained to the Department of Jobs and Small Business about your job agency and they’ve failed to take it seriously, contact the Commonwealth Ombudsman on 1300 362 072.


The top issues recorded by our advocacy team on the hotline in the last week were:

Agency failing to provide services (36% of calls) and

Job agency bullying (36% of calls)


Newstart: $347.98 per fortnight below the poverty line.

Job seekers to job vacancies: 16 to 1

Penalties imposed on unemployed workers (Oct-Dec 2017): 93,778 financial penalties and 369,540 payment suspensions.


Get in touch if you have any skills/enthusiasm/time to give.


If you have a problem with your job agency please contact our volunteer advocacy team.

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