On Monday, 4 July VicNews reported that about 750,000 people on various social security payments were concerned about being cut-off payments as the new Workforce web site and app continually failed.
No mainstream media (MSM) outlets were reporting on this and it wasn’t a ‘going’ story earlier this week, despite how many Australians were becoming anxious with fears of been cut-off payments.
Then yesterday, Saturday 9 July, Luke Henriques-Gomes reported for The Guardian (Australia) that “Welfare penalties paused after new Workforce Australia app struggles to cope.“
“Five days after the launch of the successor to the much-maligned Jobactive scheme, welfare recipients have told Guardian Australia they are still having trouble logging into the application used to log job search efforts and complete other necessary mutual obligations tasks,” Henriques-Gomes reported.
We thank The Guardian for (belatedly) reporting on this matter which in turn has meant the Albanese Government has extended a 30-day pause on welfare payment suspensions.
On Monday, 4 July VicNews witnessed several welfare reciepients simply being ‘timed out’, over and over again, or receiving ‘500 internal server error’ messages. We also witnessed people attemtping to use the app on Android devices simply being unable to access the site at all.
On many occasions we witnessed people after gaining access being asked to update their resume, skills, work experience and study details only to have the site time out when ‘save and continue’ or ‘save’ was selected. On some occasions, this simply returned people to the beginiing of the process with all the information they had just entered no longer present, or completly logged them out of the system.
It really was a case of “Computer says no.”
The social services minister, Amanda Rishworth, told The Guardian that the government “did not want jobseekers with disability accessing Disability Employment Services to be disadvantaged by the introduction of Workforce Australia”.
“There were more than 70,000 people with disability that may have been disproportionately impacted if these changes were not made by being cut off from their income support payments,” she said. “The changes have been made to be consistent with Workforce Australia. An Albanese Labor government does not want people to be confused by these changes.”
According to The Guardian report “Organisations including the Australian Council of Social Service, Anglicare, the Australian Unemployed Workers’ Union and the Antipoverty Centre are still calling for a 90-day suspension to mutual obligations across all programs.”
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We asked the social services minister, Amanda Rishworth for comment on Monday 4 July, but recieved no response.
DISCLOSURE: The editor and owner of VicNews has been on welfare payments in the past and we will always fight for the rights of those doing it tough on Struggle Street. We are on your side. We won’t and don’t label people as ‘dole bludgers’ or ‘welfare cheats’ unless they actually are welfare cheats – such as someone reciving Jobseeker when employed full-time – and this has been proven to be true by the appropriate authorities.
VicNews We’re ACTUALLY for YOU.