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Monday, July 28, 2014

New work for the dole program

From 1 July 2015, the unemployed will be forced to look for 40 jobs per month and perform up to 25 hours of community service to qualify for the dole.

Job seekers younger than 30 will have to work 25 hours a week while those between 30 and 49 will have to work 15 hours a week.

Those aged 50-60 will undertake 15 hours a week of approved activity, such as training.

Assistant Empoyment Minister Luke Hartsuyker "It's not unreasonable to expect job seekers to be out there looking for work every working day.  Work for the dole is just part of a range of strategies that the government is putting in place to improve the prospects of job seekers to get into work and at the same time, give back to the community."

When a job seeker under 30 applies for unemployment benefits, he will automatically lose payments for 6 months but must continue to look for work during that time.  And to me, this doesn't make sense. How can a unemployed person with no income, apply for 40 jobs  a month?

The system definitely needed a shake-up.  In some rare cases, generations of families have never worked and don't intend to, they have happily resigned themselves to living a life of poverty on benefits. These people needed to be shaken out of their complacency.  Then there are the kids living the dream on a permanent surfing holiday, paid by the taxpayer, they too needed a wake-up call.

But it's the older unemployed I feel sorry for the most, they have to wait until they turn 65 before qualifying for the aged pension and the constant rejection from employers must be hell.  Their prospective bosses won't tell them they are too old because age discrimination isn't allowed, but they know that's the reason and must keep trying.

So after 1 July next year, being unemployed in Australia is going to be really tough.