2 September 2022, Guardian Australia, Luke Henriques-Gomes. Access the full article here.

Noncompliant claims widespread across the $110m-a-year scheme, part of the federal government’s welfare-to-work system

An audit has found job agencies running the federal government’s controversial ParentsNext welfare scheme have been making invalid claims for taxpayer-funded bonuses.

The $110m-a-year scheme, part of Australia’s sprawling outsourced billion-dollar welfare-to-work system, pays companies and charities to provide guidance and support to single parents on benefits with children under six years old.

About 80,000 parenting payment recipients are compelled to attend appointments and take part in activities – including playgroup or education courses – to assist them with parenting and preparing for work.

The department refused to release the names of providers who’d made invalid claims, saying it “would, or could be expected to, unreasonably and adversely affect the business or commercial affairs of organisations”

– Report

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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