7 July 2022, Vice Australia, John Buckley. Access the full article here.

We can’t forget the distress caused by Robodebt.

Members of the crossbench in both the Senate and Lower House have grown restless over the government’s treatment of job seekers this week, after countless welfare recipients were forced to grapple with an “unusable” new digital employment services platform.

The government’s new employment platform, Workforce Australia, was launched on Monday and replaces the outgoing JobActive platform, which was shut down by the new Albanese government in early July without a transition period or consultation from unemployment and welfare groups.

The platform dispenses with the mutual obligations requirements that were baked into its predecessor in favour of a more gamified, automated Points Based Activation System (PBAS), which requires those seeking welfare benefits to complete a series of tasks in return for payments.

The patchy rollout of Workforce Australia adds to psychological distress of people who are facing rising costs of living and inadequate JobSeeker payments

– Zali Steggall, Independent MP for Warringah

Employment services survey

The Punishment for Profit report is based on hundreds of responses to surveys conducted by the Antipoverty Centre. This research is ongoing. If you are in Workforce Australia, Disability Employment Services or a similar program, we welcome any information you are able to share about your experiences.

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