Newstart recipients forced to work for their welfare payments could be asked to volunteer in aged care facilities as part of a reinvigorated work-for-the-dole scheme.
The Federal Government wants to make good on its election commitment to reinstate the Howard-era program, but says much of the detail is still to be worked out, including when the scheme will restart.
Dole recipients would be asked to take part in civic maintenance, cleaning streets and parks, as occurred in the scheme’s first inception.
Assistant Minister for Employment Luke Hartsuyker says it is also possible welfare recipients could work in aged care facilities, doing maintenance work such as gardening and painting.
“We would not intend that work-for-the-dole participants would be involved in the care of patients, but perhaps be involved in work that the facility could not otherwise do,” he told the ABC’s AM program.
“We’ll be releasing the implementation for Work for the Dole in due course.
“There is not a start date locked in at this point in time.”
The Government says its is focused on ensuring that the work for the dole scheme does not remove incentives for paid work, and wants to place job seekers with not-for-profit organisations.
Mr Hartsuyker denied it would create a regulatory burden for charities wanting to engage in the program.
“We want to implement this program in a measured and a methodical way,” he said.
Labor says making people on the dole work for their welfare takes them away from time they could spend finding a job.