Security guards the new WINZ receptionists

On your next visit to WINZ don’t be perturbed if you see a security guard running round with a clip board looking frazelled.

Security guards have been taking on jobs usually confined to WINZ receptionists, and its been causing a bit of a stir, not least from the security guards themselves.

Unite Union say “the guards aren’t actually able to do their job of guarding the door because they’re busy looking up and down checking names“.

Anyone wanting to enter WINZ must first see the security guard (working alone) to have their names ticked off an appointment list (if they have one) and show some official identification (ID).

The problem is people are fronting up without knowing an ID is required, security guards must then catch the attention of WINZ staff (via a tap on the window). Meanwhile, cues of people build up as security guards try to work two jobs.

Training to ask people to leave a bar or function is one thing, but to cope with people who are naturally very stressed by their circumstances, who may have complex needs and require urgent assistance, is a big ask for a security guard.

And if that’s not enough, there have also been complaints that WINZ security officers are seeing too much private information when they check appointment letters in the street.

Policies often look great on glossy white paper but it’s during the implementation stage that real-world issues present, and (ideally) policy amendments made. This policy might only be a few months old, but already there are signals a policy review is urgently needed.

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