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Bosses quick to ring ‘DobSeeker’ hotline

  • June 07 2021
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Bosses quick to ring ‘DobSeeker’ hotline

By Cameron Micallef
June 07 2021

Hundreds of unemployed Australians are now under investigation for refusing to work, submitting inappropriate job applications or refusing an interview, just weeks after the government’s controversial ‘DobSeeker’ line opened.

Bosses quick to ring ‘DobSeeker’ hotline

Bosses quick to ring ‘DobSeeker’ hotline

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  • June 07 2021
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Hundreds of unemployed Australians are now under investigation for refusing to work, submitting inappropriate job applications or refusing an interview, just weeks after the government’s controversial ‘DobSeeker’ line opened.

Bosses quick to ring ‘DobSeeker’ hotline

The Morrison government has announced that they are going after hundreds of Aussies that are currently ‘not willing to work’, threatening to remove government benefits for certain welfare recipients.

Since the introduction of the employer reporting line dubbed ‘DobSeeker’, more than 300 individuals across the country have been reported by businesses for failure to work.

The DobSeeker hotline was announced in February after the government said it would raise the JobSeeker allowance by $50 a fortnight from 1 April, but it will come with tougher obligations for unemployed Australians.

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The boost in payments to $310.40 a week has gone to 1.95 million people, including those on parenting payments, Austudy and Youth Allowance.

To remain eligible for payments, recipients must meet mutual obligation requirements outlined in an agreed-upon job plan.

These can include attending an employment services provider, searching and applying for jobs, doing Work for the Dole and other approved activities such as study, training and voluntary work.

Employment Minister Stuart Robert said some unemployed workers were clearly wasting employers’ time when applying for jobs in order to keep government benefits, although it said “most Australians are doing the right thing”.

“We’ve got reports from restaurants in Sydney that they’ve received numerous inappropriate job applications and had several applicants refuse to attend job interviews,” Mr Robert said on Friday.

“We’ve also got reports of a vet in Victoria that has had over a dozen individuals falsely answer yes to: Are you a registered veterinarian in Australia?”

Mr Robert told Seven’s Sunrise that most people meet their obligations, but the government wouldn’t hesitate to act on those who are “taking this for a ride.”

“Employers will call the reporting line and let us know if someone hasn’t turned up for a job or let us know about inconsistencies with their application – and if they’re on benefits, then we will intervene,” he said.

“There’s only a small proportion that are doing the wrong thing, but we have an expectation that Australians will stump up.”

Mr Roberts kept the carrot-and-stick approach, telling unemployed Australians the government was desperate to get them a job.

Despite the Minister’s claims to be a fairer system, the Australian Unemployed Workers Union (AUWU) has slammed the proposal, highlighting the power discrepancy between employers and employees under the proposal.

“The employers have the upper hand in the situation anyways because there are 1.1 million people unemployed at the moment. So, they hold all the cards, acting communications officer at the AUWU Jez Heywood told nestegg. 

“It is just more punishment for the poor.”

The unionist pointed to the government’s ‘different set of rule’ with big businesses allowed to pocket millions in JobKeeper payments, while unemployed Australians are being hassled for being on government benefits.

“You have one set of rules that will let you keep $22 million, but if you’re a poor person who is on $44 a day and the government algorithm messes up your income reporting, you’re immediately fined, it’s absolutely absurd,” he continued.

Mr Heywood also noted that Australia holds its unemployment rate above zero, meaning not all Australian workers are able to get a job.

“When unemployment is kept at a rate to keep inflationary pressures, it means you’re penalising people for your own policy.”

Bosses quick to ring ‘DobSeeker’ hotline
Bosses quick to ring ‘DobSeeker’ hotline
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About the author

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Cameron is a journalist for Momentum Media's nestegg and Smart Property Investment. He enjoys giving Aussies practical financial tips and tricks to help grow their wealth and achieve financial independence. As a self-confessed finance nerd, Cameron enjoys chatting with industry experts and commentators to leverage their insights to grow your portfolio.

About the author

author image
Cameron Micallef

Cameron is a journalist for Momentum Media's nestegg and Smart Property Investment. He enjoys giving Aussies practical financial tips and tricks to help grow their wealth and achieve financial independence. As a self-confessed finance nerd, Cameron enjoys chatting with industry experts and commentators to leverage their insights to grow your portfolio.

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