Volunteering Australia responds to Social Services Legislation Amendment (Welfare Reform) Bill 2017

Volunteering Australia is strongly opposed to the proposed amendment in Schedule 9 of the Social Services Legislation Amendment (Welfare Reform) Bill 2017, that is aimed at strengthening the employment focus of Mutual Obligations for job seekers aged 55 to 59 from 20 September 2018.

The proposed amendments outline that 15 of the 30 hours per fortnight must be allocated to job search or another job-related activity, like Work for the Dole. This represents a large cohort of people who were previously volunteering for 30 hours, but will now have to cease this if the proposed amendment is passed.

Volunteering Australia emphasises that the tightening of the Activity Requirements will:

  • Do little to improve the job prospects of older Australians, which are an already disadvantaged group in the job market, and affect their compliance.
  • Move people away from volunteering positions, that will have a detrimental impact on the volunteering sector.
  • Affect the service provision, workforce capacity and the long-term financial viability of Volunteering Support Services and Volunteer Involving Organisations, who provide essential services to the community.

Volunteering Australia have provided a response to Social Services Legislation Amendment (Welfare Reform) Bill 2017.

Volunteering can be an effective way to engage in society, act as a pathway back to gainful employment, encourage economic participation, build work skills, and keep people healthy and active.

Volunteering Australia reiterates our opposition to the change in Annual Activity Requirement proposed in this Bill, and urges the Committee to consider the impact on the volunteering sector.

Read Volunteering Australia’s submission here.