New data released by the Morrison Government shows hundreds of people are currently under investigation through its Employer Reporting Line only weeks after the hotline was opened for business owners.
The Employer Reporting Line is a service the Morrison Government has introduced for businesses to report instances where individuals are not meeting their responsibility to get into work seriously, including submitting inappropriate job applications, failing to attend job interviews or refusing a suitable offer of employment.
As at 28 May 2021, over 300 individuals have been referred through the hotline with over 240 currently under investigation or already having faced compliance action. The leading referral categories are inappropriate application submissions, non-attendance at interviews and leaving suitable employment. This data captures the period before the recent Victorian lockdown where a Mutual Obligations suspension is currently in place.
Minister Robert said whilst it demonstrates there is a need for the Morrison Government’s Employer Reporting Line, it is disappointing to see hundreds of people referred to the service over its first weeks of operation.
‘At the end of the day Australians expect everyone who can work to get into work and some of the stories coming out of the Employer Reporting Line are frankly unacceptable,’ Minister Robert said.
‘We’ve got reports from restaurants in Sydney that they’ve received numerous inappropriate job applications and had several applicants refuse to attend job interviews, we’ve also got reports of a Vet in Victoria that has had over a dozen individuals falsely answer yes to Are you a registered Veterinarian in Australia? wasting time which is so precious for small business owners.’
‘With hundreds of businesses across the country crying out for workers and thousands of Victorians fighting to get back on the job, to say I am disappointed is an understatement.
‘The message to businesses out there is simple – if you’re getting mucked around call the Employer Reporting Line on 1300 361 241 or email email@example.com to make a report.’
Case Study One – Restaurant manager Sydney
A restaurant manager in Sydney NSW, contacted the Employer Reporting Line to make a report regarding multiple applicants. The Employer said they have received numerous inappropriate job applications and had several applicants refuse to attend an interview. The Employer advised they were having difficulty recruiting suitable staff for their business and were looking to fill several positions across several restaurants. The Department is working with them to get staff through their local Employer Liaison Officer.
Case Study Two – Online Sales Manager in Brisbane
An Online Sales Manager in Brisbane QLD contacted the Employer Reporting Line to make a report regarding four applicants. The Employer alleges that these applicants did not attend their scheduled interview and did not provide the Employer with any prior notice of their non-attendance. The Employer also advised they were having difficulty recruiting suitable staff for sales positions. The ERL discussed the ability to utilise a jobactive provider in their local area for recruitment assistance and also provided a referral to the Department’s Workforce Contact Centre.
Case Study Three – Veterinarian in Victoria
A Veterinarian from Victoria contacted the Employer Reporting Line to make a report regarding 13 applicants who did not meet the minimal education qualifications for the position. In some instances, the Employer alleged that the applicants were falsely answering questions designed to filter out non-qualified applicants, such as 'Are you a registered Veterinarian in Australia?', information which could be later verified. The Employer provided examples of the resumes received from non-qualified applicants, including those with previous experience in hairdressing, massage therapy, and hospitality. The ERL staff reviewed the information provided and escalated the matter for resolution.
The Employer Reporting Line (1300 361 241 or email firstname.lastname@example.org) is a service brought in to help businesses report instances where individuals:
- submit inappropriate job applications — this includes applications that waste employers' resources and 'crowd out' genuine applicants
- fail to attend a job interview without a valid reason
- demonstrate misconduct or unsuitable behaviour at a job interview, or
- decline a suitable offer of employment or voluntarily leave a job without a suitable reason.
There are safeguards built into the operations of the Employer Reporting Line to make sure it does what it’s meant to – help businesses get people into work. It is not a one way street – job seekers can raise issues they may have with an employer either with their provider or the Department's National Customer Service Line, or indeed with the Fair Work Ombudsman – and the Department will also do this where necessary.
All workers in Australia are protected by our rigorous social security laws – this hotline does not change that. Which means work is not considered suitable, and may be refused if:
- it does not meet legal wage or health and safety requirements,
- it involves an unreasonably long commute or requires relocating residence,
- it aggravates an illness, injury or disability of the person,
- it requires skills the person does not have (and no training will be provided),
- appropriate care is not available for the person’s children.