Department of Employment

Department of Employment

The Department of Employment

The Australian Government Department of Employment is responsible for national policies and programmes that help Australians find and keep employment and work in safe, fair and productive workplaces. The Department of Employment works to two Ministers. The Minister for Employment is Senator the Hon Eric Abetz. The Assistant Minister for Employment is the Hon Luke Hartsuyker MP.


By providing advice on policies that will create jobs, helping job seekers into work and encouraging great workplaces, the Department builds Australia’s participation and productivity.

We ensure Australia’s employment services are delivering what large and small employers need, and work with employers to help job seekers into real and lasting jobs. We work with employment services providers to ensure that job seekers are given the support they need to become competitive in the labour market. We tailor our approach to the circumstances of different locations and lead the Government’s responses to structural and labour market change.

We support the Government’s agenda for jobs growth through effective employment services and incentives for the unemployed and employers to sustain long-term outcomes. We provide advice to the Government on the design of the new employment services model which is due to be introduced when the current Job Services Australia contracts expire on 30 June 2015. Central to the design of the new model will be the Government’s commitment to re-invigorate Mutual Obligation through strengthening Work for the Dole and reducing red tape for employment services providers.

Workplace Relations

We facilitate jobs growth through a balanced and fair workplace relations framework that boosts productive, safe and fair workplaces and reduces barriers to employment. We encourage Australian businesses to build productive and fair workplaces by promoting enterprise bargaining and focussing on workplace leadership involving managers and workers.

We promote good policy and national uniformity in workplace health and safety standards to reduce red tape for national employers. We lead the Department’s involvement in whole-of-government strategies to promote economic and social participation.

We engage with relevant international organisations such as the International Labour Organization and the OECD to promote Australia’s national interests.

We will be developing legislation to reform the integrity, productivity and effectiveness of the workplace relations system, including amending the Fair Work Act 2009 in line with the Government’s commitments. We will contribute our high quality workplace relations and economic strategy expertise to the Productivity Commission review of the Fair Work Act 2009 with a focus on ensuring the workplace relations system maximises productivity and employment.

We also support workers to obtain their entitlements when companies fail.

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