The government has scrapped plans to make some job seekers apply for 40 jobs a month.

Under a controversial budget measure, the Abbot government raised the job applications per month requirement for jobseekers on welfare from 20 to 40 in an expansion of the Work for the Dole Scheme. The rationale was that, “It is absolutely obvious that if you are sitting at home not looking for work, you are unlikely to get a job,” according to Assistant Employment Minister Luke Hartsuyker.

However, those affected were quick to point out the flaws of the proposal with most of the 60 submissions to government vehemently opposing the new measures.

Burden on jobseekers

Forcing jobseekers to arduously apply for 40 jobs a month, including those they might not be qualified for, can detract from efforts to submit genuine job applications. Forced to basically submit one application in the morning and one in the afternoon risks a flooding of fake copy-and-paste job applications. It also perpetuates the stereotype that those unemployed are lazy, failing to consider the multitude of economic and social factors affecting employment rates. A Fairfax poll also found that 72 per cent of readers believe even requiring 20 job applications per month is too high.

Burden on businesses

When Prime Minister Tony Abbott announced the changes, he emphasized the negative impact this proposal would have on businesses. “We understand that for business this is a burden,” he said. Businesses risked being inundated with job applications, wasting time to sift through to find genuine candidates.

Labor’s workplace spokesman, Brendan O’Connor, calculated this policy would result in 30 million applications being sent to employers each month, calling it “as absurd as it was unfair.”

Abbott attempted to downplay the changes, saying it was not a back down, but rather, a response to consultation.

Speaking in Canberra, he said, “Some people might like to put a pejorative on it. I would like to say isn’t this the whole point of consultation? Consultation that can’t result in any changes is meaningless.  The consultations that this government has will be fair dinkum”.

What this means for job seekers is that you won’t have to waste time printing pages, copy and pasting and sending emails. If you are currently unemployed and on welfare, you can focus on genuine, well thought out applications for jobs that you are actually qualified for. Happy hunting everyone!

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