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Help for retrenched TCF workers
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 TCF-SAP is administered through Job Services Providers (JSP). Workers don’t have to be on Centerlink benefit or registered with Centrelink to register at a JSP and access the TCF-SAP. Workers can register for the TCF-SAP at any JSP.
The Union supports workers to register for the TCF-SAP and also makes sure that every JSP will register the worker correctly and provide the worker with support.
Workers can only sign up with one JSP and it can be hard to change if they don’t like it but it can be done. Workers can access the TCF-SAP as soon as they are officially notified of their finish date and get retrenchment letter with that date on it.
To register with a Job Services Provider, workers need to show their retrenchment letter, with the finish date on it.
Workers have 6 months from their finish date to register for the TCF-SAP with a JSP and are eligible for the TCF-SAP for 12 months after registration.
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 Provider sends them to.
It is important to remember that a Job Services 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.
Workers can access the TCF-SAP even if they do have a new job. In instances where a worker has a job, the worker can spend the available TCF-SAP assistance on petrol, clothing and other tools or equipment related to their new job. However, after 6 weeks of full-time employment and 13 weeks of part-time employment all TCF-SAP assistance stops. The Union has been lobbying the Federal Government to change this ruling and has recently received a verbal agreement from the Federal Government that this ruling will change.
Job Services Providers will refund workers’ receipts if they have approved the purchase first. In some cases the worker can convince the JSP to refund a purchase even if that purchase was made before the worker registered for the TCF-SAP.
Each worker has access to a nominal $1350 to use for training, job search and employment related expenses. To access this account, workers would have to convince their case manager that the training and job related expense will lead to getting work in the area they really want work in now or in the near future.
Workers should get a case manager who will assist them with finding work such as, job search, putting in hard copy and electronic applications, interview skills and doing a resume, if they don’t already have one.
Workers have access to direct marketing with employers. This means that the JSP promotes the worker to an employer and sends out the worker’s resume to potential employers. If a worker is not getting assistance, the advocate or the worker can ask the case manager to give the worker’s resume to the direct marketing team.
JSPs can offer a wage subsidy to employers to take a worker on. However, this is available at the JSP’s discretion. A maximum of $10,000 can be used over a six month period.
Q: What is a Job Service 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 Provider that is near to my house?
A: You can call 13 62 68 and they will tell you which Job Service Providers are nearest to your house.
Q: Are some Job Service Providers better than others? How do I decide which Job Service Provider to register with?
A: It is a good idea to visit a couple of Job Service 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 Provider knows firstly that you have been retrenched, secondly if the Job Service Provider knows that you were retrenched from the textile clothing and footwear industry.
Q: Do I have to go to Centrelink before I can register with a Job Service Provider?
A: No, you do not have to register at Centrelink at all. You can go straight to the Job Service Provider and register with them. 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 Provider. Call the Union for help if the Job Service Provider has told you that you have to go to Centrelink first.
Q: If I get a job can I still get access to assistance from the Job Service Provider?
A: Yes. You have between 6 and 13 weeks left to access the assistance AFTER you get a full time job. You can use the assistance to buy clothing for your new job, pay for petrol to your new job or do training that will help with your new job. If your new job is short term but will last for longer than 6 weeks you should think about what training you will need to do when your job finishes. Try ask your Job Service Provider to pay for this training in advance.
Q: What is an activity agreement?
A: The Federal Government requires the Job Service Providers to get all the people who register for assistance to sign an activity agreement.
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 consultant 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 Provider?
A: You have a couple of options. You can call your contact person at the Union and get them to negotiate with the Job Service Provider on your behalf. Or you can call the governments official complaints line on 1800 805 260. Or you can do both things!
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 consultant (not the person on the front desk, but another person who’s job it is to help you)?
2. Did your consultant explain that you have $1350 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 Provider whether they have registered you for the TCF-SAP. 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 Provider to another one?
A: Yes. If you have a good reason, and the problems you have had with your first Job Service Provider have been unable to be resolved you have the right to change. What you need to do is find a new Job Service 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 Provider that you are requesting a transfer. If you have any problems contact the Union.
Q: Can I register at more than one Job Service Provider?
Q: What is the difference between a Job Service Provider and a Labour Hire company or Recruitment Agency?
A: Job Service 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 Provider but you can register with as many Recruitment Agencies and Labour Hire Agnecies as you like! You could register with 50 of them!
Q: Can the Job Service Provider help me find and pay for training?
Q: Can the Job Service Provider help me pay for books and equipment for my training course or for my new job or business?
Q: What are the common problems that retrenched workers experience when they register with a Job Service Provider?
A: The most common problems are:
- 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
Call the Union if any of these things happen to you.
Q: How can I resolve these common problems?
A: Problems with the Job Service Provider are most often caused by a mistake that 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 the TCF-SAP. The best thing to do is to call the Union so that we can talk to your Job Service Provider and explain how the assistance should work.
Q: What should I do if the person on the front desk of the Job Service Provider has never heard of the TCF-SAP (Textile Clothing Footwear Structural Adjustment Package)?
A: Ask to speak to the manger. Show them the leaflet that explains the TCF-SAP. If they still don’t understand call the Union for help.