Submission to the JobMaker Hiring Credit Inquiry
Recommendation 1: That the Program be amended to ensure that employers are not punished for offering eligible workers full-time hours.
Recommendation 2: That the Program be amended to reward employers that offer full-time or part-time employment, over casual or contract employment.
Recommendation 3: That the Program be amended to reward employers that engage a new employee for the full year.
Recommendation 4: That the Program be amended to provide higher subsidies for employees that are paid at about the industry average for their classification.
Recommendation 5: The Senate should refuse to pass the Bill unless the safeguards for workers are added to the legislation and not placed in Regulations.
Recommendation 6: Employers should be required to have their historic wage and timesheet records audited prior to being able to access the Program to ensure existing workers were paid correctly. Access to the scheme should not be granted until any outstanding underpayments and associated fines are paid by the employers.
Recommendation 7: Employers seeking to access the program should be required to undertake training programs aimed at ensuring their understanding of and adherence to industrial laws.
Recommendation 8: The Program should include a significant budget for monitoring of employers that access the Program (thought spot checks and government-initiated audits) to ensure compliance with industrial relations laws.
Recommendation 9: Unfair dismissal laws should be strengthened to shift the onus of proof onto the employer to show that an employee was not unfairly dismissed where an employee is sacked or made redundant and that employer subsequently accesses the Program.
Recommendation 10: Labour Hire businesses should be specifically excluded from accessing the scheme, except for workers that are working directly for them (administration, payroll, etc.).
Recommendation 11: That the Program be amended to either remove the age limit entirely or increase it to 50 in line with the Restart subsidy.
Recommendation 12: That the Program be amended to include safeguards for existing workers, including that hours of employment for existing workers must not be reduced by any employer seeking to access the subsidy.
Recommendation 13: The rate of JobSeeker and Austudy should be permanently increased.
Recommendation 14: Wage subsidies should be available for new apprentices and trainees.
Recommendation 15: Additional income support should be available for workers who are undertaking apprenticeships, traineeships or full-time study in areas of need to allow workers to retrain with minimal loss of income.
Recommendation 16: Higher rates of wage subsidy should be made available to industries with a traditional reliance on temporary visa workers in return for reforms to those industries that delivery good quality jobs, increases in training and improvements in workplace safety.
Recommendation 17: Higher rates of wage subsidy should be made available to encourage specific types of economic activity. This should be tailored to attract private sector investment in key areas that will drive future productivity.