Indigenous job seekers
15.168 In the Family Violence Report, the ALRC documented the particular impact of family violence on Indigenous peoples and their communities. This chapter has highlighted the wide-ranging impacts of family violence on work capacity and in imposing additional barriers to employment. In many cases, the additional issues which arise from being an Indigenous victim of family violence exacerbate these impacts, which further disadvantage Indigenous job seekers.
15.169 In recognition of the gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians with respect to economic participation and employment, and as a key element in meeting one of the Government’s ‘Close the Gap’ targets in relation to economic participation—halving the employment gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians within a decade—in December 2008, the Government announced reforms to the provision of Indigenous employment services.
15.170 Integrated Indigenous employment services are available through the JSA network, in conjunction with the IEP, and, in areas with poor labour markets, Community Development Employment Projects. Where appropriate, Indigenous job seekers are able to receive parallel servicing through JSA providers and the IEP, and in remote areas, the CDEP.
15.171 The current IEP model, which began on 1 July 2009, is the largest provider of employment services for Indigenous people. The objective of the IEP is to increase Indigenous employment outcomes and participation in economic activities. Under the IEP, support is available for a range of activities which may increase economic opportunities and participation for Indigenous people. The IEP provides Indigenous job seekers with a range of assistance, largely through specific IEP projects, including (relevantly) in relation to pre-employment and employment training and mentoring support and support for Indigenous job seekers and workplaces.
15.172 The IEP operates through procurement of services by DEEWR from two panels (an Employment Panel and an Economic Development and Business Support Panel) or directly with groups to assist employers, Indigenous people and their communities. The two panels are a group of organisations from which DEEWR may procure IEP services. The Panels operate under a Deed of Standing Offer—for the period 2009–2012—and individual projects/services are then provided under a Contract/Official Order. The Deed of Standing Offer, Contract/Official Order and Guidelines for Panel Members for the contract for services purchased by DEEWR.
15.173 To the extent that the ALRC can consider ways in which IEP projects provided through the panel arrangements could be revised to ensure they account for the needs of Indigenous job seekers experiencing family violence, the ALRC considers that the tender process in 2012 may provide an avenue through which the Government could consider this issue.
15.174 The ALRC welcomes stakeholder comment on whether the Government should include a requirement that IEP projects/services or panel providers demonstrate an understanding of and systems/policies to address the needs of Indigenous job seekers experiencing family violence in requests for tender and contracts for employment services, and if so how.
15.175 The focus of the ALRC in this area is on the pre-employment services and support provided to Indigenous job seekers through JSA, IEP and CDEP. A number of questions and proposals throughout this chapter refer specifically to Indigenous people or to the IEP. However, the ALRC welcomes stakeholder comment on the effectiveness of these systems to respond to the need of Indigenous job seekers who are experiencing family violence. The ALRC would also be interested in feedback on what changes, if any, could be made to the JSA, DES IEP or CDEP systems to assist Indigenous job seekers who are experiencing family violence.
Question 15–11 In what ways, if any, should the Australian Government include a requirement in requests for tender and contracts for employment services that IEP projects and services, or panel providers, demonstrate an understanding of, and systems and policies to address, the needs of Indigenous job seekers experiencing family violence?
Question 15–12 In what ways, if any, should the JSA, DES, IEP or CDEP systems be reformed to assist Indigenous job seekers who are experiencing family violence?
CALD job seekers
15.176 In some cases, job seekers from CALD communities may face additional barriers to employment that require different, or additional, support from JSA or DES providers. As outlined in Chapters 1, 4 and 14, people from CALD communities may face additional barriers to disclosure of family violence.
15.177 Where relevant throughout the chapter the ALRC has noted the particular impact administration or processes may have on job seekers from CALD communities. However, the ALRC would be interested in specific stakeholder comments on the effectiveness of the JSA and DES systems in responding to the needs of job seekers from CALD communities and on what changes if any, could be made to the JSA or DES systems to assist job seekers from CALD communities who are experiencing family violence.
Question 15–13 In what ways, if any, should the JSA or DES systems be reformed to assist job seekers from culturally and linguistically diverse communities who are experiencing family violence?
Job seekers with disability
15.178 On 1 March 2010, the Government introduced the new DES system. Eligibility for DES is largely determined by the outcome of the ESAt or JCA, however DES in uncapped.
15.179 In some cases, a job seeker with a disability may register directly with DES. However, in these circumstances, where a potential DES participant does not have a valid ESAt or JCA or fall within a limited category of exceptions, the DES provider will refer the job seeker to an ESAt or JCA assessor to have their eligibility for DES assessed.
15.180 Otherwise, a job seeker may be referred to the DES provider network if they:
have a disability which is permanent or likely to be permanent;
have a reduced capacity for communication, learning or mobility;
require support for more than six months after placement in employment; or
require specialist assistance to build their work capacity.
15.181 There are two separate programs within DES:
Disability Management Service is for job seekers with disability, injury or health condition who require the assistance of a Disability Employment Service but are not expected to need long-term support in the workplace.
Employment Support Service is for job seekers with permanent disability and with an assessed need for more long-term, regular support in the workplace.
15.182 Where a job seeker under the DES system discloses family violence, the same procedures that apply under the JSA system apply—that is, they are immediately referred to a Centrelink social worker.
15.183 Where relevant throughout the chapter, the ALRC has noted the particular impact administration or processes may have on people with a disability, and included reference to the DES. However, in some cases the ALRC requires further information about the structure and operation of the DES. In addition, the ALRC would be interested in specific stakeholder comments on the effectiveness of the JSA and DES systems in responding to the needs of job seekers with a disability and on what changes if any, could be made to the JSA or DES systems to assist job seekers with a disability who are experiencing family violence.
Question 15–14 In what ways, if any, should the JSA or DES systems be reformed to assist job seekers with disability who are experiencing family violence?
Job seekers in rural and remote areas
15.184 In 2010, the Independent Review commented that:
A number of employment service providers and welfare organisations have emphasised a range of special difficulties which can arise when trying to provide employment services for job seekers in remote locations.
15.185 In addition, stakeholders in this Inquiry have highlighted that JSA and DES services in remote locations are less effective than non-remote services, due to the often limited labour markets, irregular servicing and the level of job seeker disadvantage.
15.186 In June 2011, the Government agreed to review the way services are delivered in remote locations and will commence consultations on possible new approaches for the delivery of remote services shortly. On 16 August the Government released a Discussion Paper and are conducting consultation forums on the future on the future of remote participation and employment services.
15.187 The ALRC welcomes stakeholder feedback on ways in which employment services delivered in rural and remote locations do, or could be appropriately reformed to ensure the safety of job seekers experiencing family violence.
Question 15–15 In the context of the Australian Government review of new approaches for the delivery of rural and remote employment services, in what ways, if any, could any new approach incorporate measures to protect the safety of job seekers experiencing family violence?
 Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs, Closing the Gap Targets <http://www.fahcsia.gov.au/sa/indigenous/progserv/ctg/Pages/targets.aspx> at 24 July 2011.
 The focus of this chapter is on employment services. As a result, initiatives and services such as the Community Support Service, the Australian Employment Covenant and the role played by Indigenous Business Australia are not discussed.
 Except where the job seeker is a Special Class Client or Eligible School Leaver or registers as a Job In Jeopardy: Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations, Disability Employment Services: Referral for Job Capacity Assessment Guidelines, 23 March 2010 (2010). The ALRC is advised that DEEWR is currently revising these Guidelines in light of the changes from 1 July 2011: Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations, Correspondence 26 July 2011.
 J Disney, A Buduls and P Grant, Impacts of the new Job Seeker Compliance Framework: Report of the Independent Review (2010), 13.
 Disability Employment Services, Fact Sheet: DES: Flexible, Tailored Employment Assistance (2011).
 See earlier in the chapter and Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations, Disability Employment Services: Referral for Job Capacity Assessment Guidelines, 23 March 2010 (2010).
 J Disney, A Buduls and P Grant, Impacts of the new Job Seeker Compliance Framework: Report of the Independent Review (2010), 71.
 Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations, Job Services Australia Industry Information Paper (2011).