TRAINING & EDUCATION

Help for Retrenched Workers

The Union has a long history and extensive experience in developing, coordinating and delivering successful and innovative Advocacy and Support projects for retrenched TCF workers and understands that workers face a difficult transition when they lose their jobs. While retrenchment causes considerable economic and emotional difficulty for most workers, what has also been lost is a sense of community, the shared sense of identity and focus that is gained by the experience of working together as a group on a day-to-day basis with a common goal over many years. After retrenchment many workers face the prospect of uncertain and casual work.

The Textile Clothing and Footwear Structural Adjustment Package (TCF-SAP)

The TCFUA has for many years said to the Federal Government that all retrenched workers in the TCF industry should get advice and support to develop new skills, adjust to change, find new work or to get qualifications.

The TCFUA has successfully negotiated with the Federal Government to increase the amount of Textile Clothing Footwear Structural Adjustment Package (TCFSAP) Funding for TCF retrenched workers when they register for TCFSAP Stream 3 Intensive Customised Support Services at a Job Services Australia Provider. The new increased amount is the equivalent to what workers in the Automotive Industry receive when they are made redundant. Previously it was $1350 for Textile Clothing Footwear retrenched workers and now it is $2880.

The other great success is that Outworkers that are made redundant from the TCF industry can access the fund and receive assistance just the same as TCF retrenched factory workers.
TCF-SAP is administered through Job Services Australia Providers (JSAP). Workers don’t have to be on Centrelink benefits or registered with Centrelink to register with a JSAP to access TCF-SAP. Workers can directly register for TCF-SAP at any JSAP.

The Union supports workers to register for TCF-SAP and also makes sure that every JSAP will register the worker correctly and provide the worker with support.
Workers can only register with one JSAP you can transfer to another JSAP if you are not happy with their service. Workers can access TCF-SAP program as soon as they are officially notified of their finish date and get a retrenchment letter with the termination date on it.

To register with a Job Services Australia Provider, workers need to provide a copy of their separation certificate or retrenchment letter, with the finish date on it.
Workers have 6 months from their finish date to register for TCF-SAP with a JSAP and are eligible for TCF-SAP for 12 months after registration depending on whether you are employed.

If workers are not on Centrelink benefit, they are under no obligation to accept an interview or a job opportunity. They can say no if they don’t like the job that the Job Services Australia Provider sends them to.

It is important to remember that a Job Services Australia Provider might not approve funding for training and other job seeking related costs, but workers should always ask for it if they think there is something they want to do that will help them find work.

Workers can access TCF-SAP even if they do have a new job. In instances where a worker has a job, the worker can access the available TCF-SAP funding assistance for petrol, clothing and tools or equipment related to their new job. However, after 3 months of full-time employment or 6 months of part-time employment all TCF-SAP assistance stops.

Job Services Providers will refund workers’ receipts if they have approved the purchase first with their JSAP. In some cases the worker can convince the JSAP to refund a purchase even if that purchase was made before the worker registered for TCF-SAP.

What do workers get from the TCF-SAP package?
1. Training dollars
Each TCF Retrenched worker has access to a nominal $2880 to use for training, job search and employment related expenses. To access this funding workers would have to discuss with their case manager the training and job related expense will assist to getting work in the area they really want work in now or in the near future.

2. Case management
TCF Retrenched workers should have a case manager who will assist them with finding work or training such as, job searching, sending hard copy and electronic resumes for job applications, training on interview skills and doing a resume, if they don’t already have one.

3. Reverse marketing
TCF Retrenched workers have access to reverse marketing with employers. This means that the JSAP promotes the TCF retrenched worker to prospective employers and sends out the TCF retrenched worker’s resume to potential employers. If a retrenched TCF worker is not getting assistance, the TCFUA advocate or the TCF retrenched worker can ask their case manager to give the TCF retrenched worker’s resume to the reverse marketing team.

4. Wage subsidy
JSAP’s can offer a wage subsidy to employers to employ a TCF retrenched worker. However, this is only available at the JSAP’s discretion. A maximum of $10,000 can be used over a six month period.
Job Service Australia Provider and Textile Clothing Footwear Structural Adjustment Program

Frequently asked questions
Q: What is a Job Service Australia Provider?
A: It is an organisation that is funded by the Federal Government to provide assistance to people who are looking for work. It is also funded to deliver the Federal Governments retrenched worker assistance programs.
Q: How do I find a Job Service Australia Provider that is near to my house?
A: Call 13 62 68 and they will tell you which Job Service Australia Providers are nearest to your house or you can visit www.deewr.gov.au/jobservicesaustralia
Q: Are some Job Service Australia Providers better than others? How do I decide which Job Service Australia Provider to register with?
A: It is a good idea to visit a couple of Job Service Australia Providers in your area and ask them questions. That way you can find out which one is more likely to give you the assistance that you need.
Q: Am I entitled to extra assistance because I have been retrenched from the textile, clothing or footwear industry?
A: Yes. But you will only get extra assistance if the Job Service Australia Provider knows firstly that you have been retrenched from the Textile Clothing Footwear Industry and if your company is an eligible TCF company.
Q: Do I have to go to Centrelink before I can register with a Job Service Australia Provider?
A: No, you do not have to register at Centrelink at all. You can directly register at the Job Service Australia Provider. If they refuse to register you unless you agree to go to Centrelink first - then they have made a mistake. Ask them to check the details of the Textile Clothing Footwear Structural Adjustment Program – one of the things it entitles you to do is to register directly with a Job Service Australia Provider. Call the TCFUA advocate for help if the Job Service Australia Provider has told you that you must go to Centrelink first.
Q: If I get a job can I still get access to assistance from the Job Service Australia Provider?
A: Yes. You have between 3 months and 6 months left to access the assistance AFTER you get a job. You can use the TCFSAP funding assistance to buy work clothing for your new job, pay for petrol to your new job till you receive your first pay or do training that will help with your new job. If your new job is short term you should think about what training you would like to do when your job finishes. Ask your Job Service Australia Provider to pay for the training in advance.
Q: What is an activity agreement?
A: The Federal Government requires the Job Service Australia Providers to have all the people who register for assistance to sign an activity agreement. The activity agreement sets out your requirements to receive assistance and the requirements of the JSAP to provide assistance.
Q: Do I have to sign an activity agreement that I don’t like?
A: If you are not receiving Centrelink benefits you do not have to agree to do anything that you think is unhelpful. You have the right to ask for things that you think are unhelpful to be removed from the activity agreement that you sign.
Q: What if I have already signed an activity agreement but I want to change it?
A: If you are not getting any payments from Centrelink you have the right to change the activity agreement so that it suits you. You do not have to do anything that you think is unhelpful if you are not receiving any payments from Centrelink. Tell your case manager that you are a voluntary client and that you would like to change your activity agreement.
Q: What should I do if I am unhappy with the Job Service Australia Provider?
A: Firstly ask to speak to the JSAP branch manager to try and resolve why you’re unhappy, you can then request another case manager. You can also request a transfer to another JSAP. If either of those options don’t resolve the issue you can make a formal complaint by contacting the Government’s Employment Services Customer Service Line on 1800 805 260 (free call from landlines)
Q: How can I check that I have been registered correctly for the extra assistance?
A: Ask yourself these questions:
1. Do you have a case manager (not the person on the front desk, but another person who’s job it is to help you)?
2. Did your case manager explain that you have $2880 available to you? If your answer is NO to one or both of these questions then you have probably been registered incorrectly. You are probably not receiving the amount of assistance that you should be. You need to ask your Job Service Australia Provider whether they have registered you for the TCF-SAP Stream 3 Intensive Customised Support Services. Make sure that they know that you are a retrenched worker from the Textile Clothing and Footwear industry.
Q: Can I change or swap from one Job Service Australia Provider to another one?
A: Yes. If you have a good reason, and the problems you have had with your first Job Service Australia Provider have been unable to be resolved you have the right to change. What you need to do is find a new Job Service Australia Provider, tell them that you want to transfer to them and ask if they will accept you. If they say yes then you can tell your Job Service Australia Provider that you are requesting a transfer.
Q: Can I register at more than one Job Service Australia Provider?
A: No.
Q: What is the difference between a Job Service Australia Provider and a Labour Hire Agency or Recruitment Agency?
A: Job Service Australia Providers are funded by the Federal Government. Labour Hire Agencies or Recruitment Agencies are a private business. You can only register with ONE Job Service Australia Provider but you can register with as many Recruitment Agencies and Labour Hire Agencies as you like! You could register with 50 of them!
Q: Can the Job Service Australia Provider help me find and pay for training?
A: Yes.
Q: Can the Job Service Australia Provider help me pay for books and equipment for my training course or for my new job or business?
A: Yes.
Q: What are the common problems that retrenched workers experience when they register with a Job Service Australia Provider?
A: The most common problems are:
- they are unaware of the TCFSAP program
- incorrect registration
- not getting enough help looking for work.
- being required to do something that you do not want to do or that you think is unhelpful.
- having a request for funding knocked back/refused
Q: How can I resolve these common problems?
A: Problems with the Job Service Australia Provider are most often caused by a mistake they have made when they registered you. They may not have understood that you are a retrenched worker and/or they may not have understood that you have been retrenched from the Textile Clothing and Footwear Industry. They may not know about how to correctly register you for TCF-SAP.
Q: What should I do if the person on the front desk of the Job Service Australia Provider has never heard of TCF-SAP (Textile Clothing Footwear Structural Adjustment Package)?
A: Ask to speak to the manager. Show them the leaflet that explains TCF-SAP.