The Coalition’s plan for real action on Employment Participation
The Coalition will provide real incentives to help unemployed Australians to re-enter the workforce.
Unemployment can have a corrosive impact on individuals, families and society at large. In addition to the economic costs, long-term unemployment can be particularly debilitating. Allowing people who could readily work to stay out of the workforce for long periods is cruelty not compassion.
The Coalition believes that we have an obligation to do what we can to provide real incentives and assistance to encourage as many of the long term unemployed as possible to find suitable work and to stay off welfare.
The Coalition is determined to ensure that people aren’t abandoned to a lifetime of welfare dependence but are engaged in work if they are reasonably capable of it.
The recent increase in the national unemployment rate is a reminder that areas of Australia are suffering from high unemployment and a shortage of job opportunities.
Equally, there are other parts of the country where there are worker shortages.
The Coalition’s Plan for Real Action to Support the Long-Term Unemployed into Jobs will assist jobseekers to relocate and to retain permanent employment.
The Coalition will:
1. Introduce a Job Commitment Bonus
The Coalition will introduce a new Job Commitment Bonus to encourage young Australians who are long-term unemployed on NewStart Allowance or Youth Allowance to take a job and keep it.
Young Australians aged 18 to 30 who have been unemployed for twelve months or more and are on NewStart Allowance or Youth Allowance will receive a $2,500 Job Commitment Bonus if they get a job and remain off welfare for a period of 12 months. The Coalition will provide a further Job Commitment Bonus of $4,000 to these jobseekers if they remain in a job and off welfare for a period of 24 months.
2. Provide a Jobseeker Relocation Payment
The Coalition will offer unemployed jobseekers on NewStart Allowance a payment of up to $6,000 if they move to a regional area to take up a job offer. The Coalition will offer a payment of up to $3,000, available for all unemployed jobseekers on NewStart Allowance in areas of high unemployment if they move to a metropolitan area to take up a job offer.
In addition, employers will receive a subsidy of $2,500 for employing an eligible jobseeker, paid at $500 per week for the first five weeks of employment.
3. Introduce a Seniors’ Employment Incentive Payment
The Coalition will introduce a $3250 Seniors Employment Incentive Payment for employers that hire mature workers aged 50 or older.
The Incentive Payment will be paid to employers who hire a jobseeker who is currently unemployed or out of the workforce, registered with Centrelink and on benefits. It will be a one-off payment designed to help overcome the initial reluctance of some employers to appoint older jobseekers.
4. Introduce a proper paid parental leave scheme
The Coalition’s Paid Parental Leave scheme will help boost participation of women in the workforce, allowing employers to retain some of the most productive and potentially productive workers and thereby increasing Australia’s productivity.
As the Productivity Commission notes, the health gains from Paid Parental Leave would not only benefit families. Society at large will benefit from lower long-term health costs and the likely long-run productivity benefits.1
5. Commit to the Australian Employment Covenant
The Coalition is strongly committed to the Australian Employment Covenant. We will work with the Australian Employment Covenant to develop and expand the programme to assist as many young long-term unemployed Australians as we can to find and keep jobs.
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