Pick fruit or lose dole: PM
UNEMPLOYED Aussies risk losing dole payments for up to a month if they refuse “reasonable” job offers to work as seasonal farmhands in a new Federal Government program.
In a bid to end the reliance on foreign workers, Prime Minister Scott Morrison will today announce a regional jobs service that requires farmers to report their employment needs, pay and conditions.
Employment agencies will engage with the National Harvest Labour Information Service to put forward job seekers ahead of hired foreign labour.
“This is about doing everything we can to ensure Australian jobs are being filled by Australians,” Mr Morrison said.
“Our government has heard from farmers about how tough it is right now to find workers, particularly at the height of harvest season.”
But job seekers are being warned the Human Services Department will enforce penalties for refusing a reasonable job offer.
Under existing rules, a jobseeker who does not give a reasonable excuse for turning down a suitable job offer can have their benefits reduced or withdrawn for up to a month.