People attending jobactive who are meeting obligations

Sandra Legro made this Freedom of Information request to Department of Jobs and Small Business

The request was partially successful.

From: Sandra Legro

Delivered

Dear Minister for Employment,

I would like to know how many people are still required to engage with a provider even when meeting mutual obligations related to work hours.
In particular how many single parents working more than the required 15hours are still required to attend jobactive appointments rather than be managed by centrelink as per page 10 of mutual obligation guidelines TRIM ID: D16/1226059 found on the department of employments webpage with a recorded effective date of 5 Dec 2016.
Ii have met my obligations since last year and although i did not have to engage with a provider since January 2017 I am being sent appointments continuously even when engaged in work hours far exceeding the mutual obligation requirements.

How many others is this happening to, I request documents related to the obligation requirements of single parents and the departments expectations of centrelinks management of these cases.

Yours faithfully,

Sandra Legro

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From: Employment - Minister Cash

UNCLASSIFIED

Dear Ms Legro,

We refer to your email of 14 February 2017 (below), in which you requested
access to certain documents under the Freedom of Information Act 1982
(Cth) (FOI Act).

 

The subject matter of the documents subject to your request is more
closely connected with the functions of the Department of Employment (the
Department). Accordingly, we are writing to inform you that your request
has been transferred to the Department under section 16 of the FOI Act, on
the basis that the subject matter of the documents subject to your request
is more closely connected with the functions of that agency.

 

The Department has accepted the transfer and will contact you shortly in
relation to this matter. 

 

Should you have any questions about your request, please contact the
Department on (02) 6240 6827.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

Office of Senator the Hon Michaelia Cash

Minister for Employment

Minister for Women

Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for the Public Service

P: 02 6277 7320 

 

 

 

 

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From: Employment - FOI

Sensitive: Personal

Dear Ms Legro

 

We refer to your correspondence below in which you have requested access
to documents under the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (Cth) (FOI Act).

 

The Department of Employment has received your request and confirms that
it will be processed in accordance with the FOI Act.

 

Kind regards

 

Information Law, Practice Management and Corporate Advising Branch

Australian Government Department of Employment

Phone (02) 6240 7310

[1][email address] |www.employment.gov.au

 

Corporate Legal: professionalism, collaboration and quality in legal
services and compliance.

 

 

 

 

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Sandra Legro left an annotation ()

Received notice of referral from minister to department, then notice that my requested information will be supplied once processed.

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Sandra Legro left an annotation ()

Oops i should re-word that, my requested information will be processed under the FOI rules.
So not necessarily that the information will be forthcoming.

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From: Employment - FOI

Sensitive: Personal

Dear Ms Legro

 

I refer to your correspondence below received by the Department of
Employment (the Department) on 14 February 2017, in which you requested
access to documents under the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (Cth) (FOI
Act) to the following:

 

Documents related to the obligation requirements of single parents, and
the Department’s expectations of Centrelink’s management of these cases.

 

Initial consultations

 

As an initial step in considering your request, the Information Law Team
has liaised directly with the Department’s Job Seeker Activation & Cluster
Support Branch (JSACS Branch) in relation to the number and nature of
documents held by the Department which were likely to be relevant to your
request.

 

The JSACS Branch advised that the Department is unlikely to hold any
documents relevant to your request other than the Mutual Obligation
Requirements and Job Plan Guidelines. These guidelines are publicly
available from the Department’s website, and from your request I
understand that you are already familiar with them.

 

Access to documents

 

The right of access under the FOI Act is to existing documents, rather
than to information. I note that part of your request refers to the actual
number of single parents required to attend jobactive appointments despite
meeting their Mutual Obligation Requirements (MORs) in respect of work
hours. As this relates to information which may be held by the Department
of Human Services (DHS) and/or the Department of Social Services, rather
than documents held by the Department, I do not consider this to form part
of the scope of your request. However, the JSACS Branch has considered the
details of your request and has endeavoured to address your concerns
below.

 

jobactive appointments and MORs

 

No Principal Carer Parents (PCPs) are required to stay engaged with their
Provider when they are fully meeting their part-time MORs by working 30
hours of paid work per fortnight.

 

However, some job seekers may choose to use employment services
voluntarily, even when fully meeting their MORs. These job seekers would
continue to have Provider appointments and receive notifications.

 

Further, in a very small number of cases (especially where a job seeker
has signed up for SMS notifications), the Department’s IT system can
inadvertently send an automatic notification, and PCPs who are fully
meeting their obligations will receive a request to attend an appointment.
Usually, in such cases if the job seeker calls their Provider to enquire
about the notification the Provider will rectify the situation by
cancelling the appointment manually.

 

On any given day there may also be a small number of job seekers who are
affected by the natural processing time required to manage a change in a
job seeker’s circumstances. For example, an appointment notification may
be sent out in the ‘window’ between when a job seeker is entitled to be
suspended from having to attend appointments, and the suspension actually
being put in place by DHS. The likelihood of this occurring increases
where the window is larger, such as where a job seeker has not been able
to attend a Provider appointment because they were working. DHS and
Providers endeavour to put suspensions in place as quickly as possible,
but on some occasions a job seeker will be sent an automated request to
attend an appointment when they are not actually obliged to do so. This
does not tend to happen very often.

 

Determining when a job seeker is meeting their work requirements

 

Whilst no PCP is required to attend Provider appointments when they are
fully meeting their part-time MORs by working 30 hours of paid work per
fortnight, determining whether and when those requirements are being met
depends on the circumstances of each case.

 

Many job seekers who undertake part time work see their working hours vary
from week to week. When a job seeker starts working hours which appear to
meet their part-time MORs, Providers may grant a suspension for a few
months so that they can then review whether the job seeker is still
working the required hours at the end of the suspension. If it appears
that the job seeker’s working hours are stable and consistently meet their
part-time MORs, the Provider may extend the suspension for a longer
period.

 

Your circumstances

 

I understand that since submitting your FOI request, your particular issue
in respect of appointments has been resolved.

 

As your FOI request was made via the Right To Know website, in the
interests of protecting your privacy I have decided not to include
specific details regarding how these issues apply to your particular file
in this correspondence. However, if you would like to specifically discuss
how the above is relevant to your specific circumstances I would invite
you to contact your Provider directly, or contact the Employment Services
National Customer Service Line on 1800 805 260 (free call from land
lines).

 

Summary

 

For your convenience, I have outlined a summary of the main points
discussed above:

 

·         Following initial searches, the Department considers that it is
unlikely to hold any documents relevant to your request other than the
Mutual Obligation Requirements and Job Plan Guidelines.

·         No PCPs are required to stay engaged with their Provider when
they are fully meeting their part-time MORs by working 30 hours of paid
work per fortnight.

·         Providers may require that a job seeker attend appointments from
time to time to review whether they are still meeting their part-time
MORs.

·         Occasionally, technical issues may lead to an appointment
notification being sent to a job seeker in error. This can usually be
rectified by contacting the Provider directly.

 

Next steps

 

Under the FOI Act, the Department must continue to process your request
unless you decide to formally withdraw it.

 

If you are satisfied with the Department’s response above, I invite you to
formally withdraw your request by return email.

 

If we do not hear from you by C.O.B. Friday 3 March, we will continue to
process your request for access to documents related to the obligation
requirements of single parents. However, as mentioned above, it appears at
this stage that the only document likely to fall within the scope of your
request is the Mutual Obligation Requirements and Job Plan Guidelines.

 

If you wish to proceed with your request under the FOI Act, the Department
will advise you if a charge is payable to process your request and the
amount of any such charge as soon as practicable.

 

Should you have any queries about this matter, please do not hesitate to
contact us.

 

Yours sincerely

 

Information Law, Practice Management and Corporate Advising Branch

Australian Government Department of Employment

Phone (02) 6240 7310

[1][email address] |www.employment.gov.au

 

Corporate Legal: professionalism, collaboration and quality in legal
services and compliance.

 

 

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From: Employment - FOI


Attachment FOI Decision on access Legro.pdf
1.4M Download View as HTML


Sensitive: Personal

Dear Ms Legro

Please find attached correspondence from the Department regarding your
request for access to documents under the Freedom of Information Act 1982
(Cth) of 14 February 2017.

Should you have any queries about this matter, please contact us via email
to [1][email address].

Kind regards

Information Law Team
Information Law, Practice Management and Corporate Advising Branch
Australian Government Department of Employment
Email: [2][email address]

 

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Things to do with this request

Anyone:
Department of Jobs and Small Business only: