The Department of Human Services encourages people to defer non-urgent business next Monday and Friday afternoons due to industrial action by the Community and Public Sector Union.
This action has the potential to impact Centrelink, Medicare and Child Support services across Australia on both days.
The union has flagged further industrial action the following week, although detail of this action has yet to be formally provided to the department.
General Manager Hank Jongen said customer payments will not be affected.
“We are focussed on making sure staff are available to help people who are in financial hardship and need immediate assistance,” Mr Jongen said.
“So we’re asking customers with non-urgent business to consider contacting the department at another time.”
Customers are also encouraged to use online services through their myGov account, or the ExpressPlus Apps.
“Our online services and ExpressPlus apps are really well used, and make it easy for people to do many things without the need to contact us,” Mr Jongen said.
The Express Plus suite of mobile apps are for Centrelink, Medicare and Child Support, and are free to download for customers using Apple, Android or selected Windows 10 devices (only for the Medicare app).
“Through all these apps, you can update your contact details and access your online letters. Each app is also tailored to specific needs,” Mr Jongen said.
“For example, you can make a claim through the Medicare app and report your income through the Centrelink app.”
“We appreciate the community’s patience during this time and I reassure you we are working hard to minimise disruption to the services they need,” Mr Jongen said.
We will provide as much notice as possible of any service disruptions, and encourage people to regularly check humanservices.gov.au/servicechanges for updates.
Information on the digital self-service options is available at humanservices.gov.au/selfservice.
Spoken by Department of Human Services General Manger Hank Jongen.
Download audio: Industrial action 5 and 9 December 2016 grab 1 (MP3, 750KB)
Transcript: Well we’re asking those people with non-urgent business to hold-off from contacting the department on Monday and Friday. That’s because the CPSU is taking industrial action at those times.
The union action will not impact customer payments but we are expecting some disruption to customer services and hope people will be patient with us on those days.
Download audio: Industrial action 5 and 9 December 2016 grab 2 (MP3, 517KB)
Transcript: We’re doing all we can to minimise the disruption as a result of this industrial action, and we’ll have arrangements in place to make sure staff are available to help people in financial hardship or who have urgent business.