While most jobseekers are doing the right thing, there is anecdotal evidence some are applying for work they know they will not get. Picture: Thinkstock
While most jobseekers are doing the right thing, there is anecdotal evidence some are applying for work they know they will not get. Picture: Thinkstock

Welfare crackdown on lazy jobseekers

JOBSEEKERS who sabotage their own job applications so they can stay on the dole - like applying for a chemical engineer's job despite having a Year 10 education - now face losing their welfare payments.

The Turnbull Government has completely redrafted legislation that closes loopholes for the lazy and job snobs who want to apply only for certain types of work.

It means that for the first time, it will be clear that welfare recipients are in breach of their job search requirements if they apply for work they are obviously not capable of doing, such as a medical doctor.

It is understood that while most jobseekers are doing the right thing, there is anecdotal evidence that some are deliberately "ticking boxes" and applying for work they know they will not get so they can stay on the couch.

Some frustrated MPs said it was obvious the system was being gamed by some.

Leichhardt MP Warren Entsch said bosses had told him some workers were flunking interviews on purpose.

"Employers are saying it happens all the time,'' Mr Entsch said. "They (job applicants) come in wearing bloody thongs and a T-shirt and present themselves in a way that you couldn't give them a job.

"They don't want to work, they've just got to tick a box."

Wide Bay MP Llew O'Brien and Petrie MP Luke Howarth said they had also heard anecdotally that some jobseekers preferred not to work and actively sought not too.

Previously compliance legislation described a job search fail as a failure to complete "a certain number of job searches a fortnight".

It could be taken to mean that as long as the jobseeker completed the required number of job searches, it did not matter if they applied for jobs for which they were clearly not qualified.

The shift, that started in July and could leave some recalcitrant jobseekers being stripped of welfare in coming months, means the quality of jobs searches will now be ­considered by employment service providers.

Applications will also have to be diverse. It will not be good enough to claim it is not a preferred occupation or pay range.

Jobs Minister Michaelia Cash said the Government believed people who could work should work.

"The Turnbull Government recognises that the overwhelming majority of job seekers are doing the right thing and looking for employment,'' Senator Cash said.

"(We) strongly believe that working-age Australians who are capable of working should not be subsidised by the Australian taxpayer when they persistently fail to look for a job."