Red tape? It's only just begun. Forcing job-seekers to apply for 40 jobs each per month will bombard employers with more than 1 million applications per day, every working day of every year.
About 740,000 Australians are unemployed. Even at the peak of the mining boom the total wasn't much short of 500,000. Forcing most to apply for more than one job per day (while also working for the dole if they are under 50) will see them sending out pro forma emails at a pointless rate.
Senator Eric Abetz. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen
Bendigo has 700 unemployed residents. Making them apply repeatedly to the same pool of employers month after month will drain their ability to apply for jobs they might actually get and drive their would-be employers around the twist.
It won't be too bad for big organisations with well-resourced human resources departments. They have staff they can assign to worthless work. But small firms will have no one to pass the work to.
''They will be inundated,'' says Peter Strong of the Council of Small Business of Australia. ''It's an embarrassment for everybody and it's going to make people angry. The small business person might be having a lousy day and no customers are coming in, but she'll be getting job-seekers. In the hospitality industry most of the time you know straight away whether someone can pour a cup of coffee. You don't want that person coming back month after month.''
Peter Strong Photo: Peter Braig
As minister Eric Abetz outlined the new rules on Monday, the Business Council of Australia launched a major report stressing the need for businesses to ''improve their productivity and strip out costs''.
It's as if he wasn't listening. Business Council chief executive Jennifer Westacott says while many aspects of the new model are welcome she is ''concerned about the practicality of asking people to apply for 40 jobs each month''.
She is concerned, too, about how little we are paying unemployed people. Currently just $255.25 a week, Newstart will be denied to young people during their first six months out of work and then paid at the lower Youth Allowance rate of $207.20 per week until they reach 30.
Without the resources or the time to properly present themselves for jobs, many will miss out.
Peter Strong is surprised. He says usually the government has good ideas about getting people into work and is prepared to talk. He says this is an aberration.