The simple conclusion is that jobactive is ineffective. It is ineffective because it has been let down by a government without a plan for real job creation and which appears untroubled by the insecure work crisis. But it has also been poorly designed, asked to achieve two contradictory outcomes – to assist unemployed Australians and to punish them. No system designed around such mutually exclusive concepts could have ever been expected to succeed.

Australia needs quality employment services working in concert with a transition agency[1] and a real plan for job growth to ensure that unemployed people can find meaningful and decent jobs and that when workers are unavoidably left without employment that they can retrain and find new, suitable and rewarding work. This can only be achieved by a system centred around providing real assistance to job seekers, a system that is not tainted by the belief that unemployment is a moral or behavioural failing.


  1. Programs such as CDP and PaTH must be scrapped and replaced with programs designed to provide actual assistance to unemployed Australians
  2. Significant reductions in the punitive nature of the jobactive system, including the prevention of the imposition of penalties with no oversight by the Department of Jobs and Small Business, as has been occurring.[1]
  3. Gearing incentives towards placing jobseekers into long term, meaningful employment rather than churning them through multiple casual engagements.
  4. An immediate $75 a week increase to Newstart with the aim of an eventual $160 a week increase.
  5. Indexation rates for all social security payments should be aligned so that the widening gap between pensions and allowances may be closed.
  6. Government must develop and embrace a real plan to create decent jobs and ensure that Australians have the skills they need to fill those jobs.



[1]ACTU, Jobs You Can Count On, Op. Cit.

[1] Eryk Bagshaw, Op. Cit.