Wednesday, 31 July 2019
by leave—I move:
That the Senate—
(a) notes that:
(i) the majority of ParentsNext participants are women,
(ii) the Australian Human Rights Commission has stated that ParentsNext is not compatible with human rights, and
(iii) despite recommendations in the report of the Community Affairs References Committee inquiry into ParentsNext (the Senate inquiry), some participants are still being misled into believing that privacy waivers are compulsory, and pressured into signing them or risk loss of their income;
(b) recognises that the overwhelming evidence presented to the Senate inquiry into the program recommended that ParentsNext not continue in its current form; and
(c) calls on the Federal Government to urgently sanction providers who are pressuring program participants into signing privacy waivers, and implement the recommendations of the Senate inquiry.
The ParentsNext program helps parents plan and prepare for employment before their youngest child starts school. The government is committed to this program. The national expansion of ParentsNext has helped more than 93,300 parents to plan and prepare for employment by the time their children turn six. Since then over 25,000 parents commenced education, 15,200 parents commenced employment and over 1,300 parents exited due to stable employment. The ParentsNext 2016-18 evaluation report showed that participating in the trial generally increased parents' attitude to work, wellbeing and their chances of being in study or finding work.