Permanent URL for this page: http://hdl.voced.edu.au/10707/643799.
Corporate author:Australia. Parliament. Senate. Select Committee on Work and Care
The Senate Select Committee on Work and Care (committee) was appointed by resolution of the Senate on 3 August 2022, to inquire into and report on the following matters: (a) the extent and nature of the combination of work and care across Australia and the impact of changes in demographic and labour force patterns on work-care arrangements in recent decades; (b) the impact of combining various types of work and care (including of children, the aged, those with disability) upon the well-being of workers, carers and those they care for; (c) the adequacy of workplace laws in relation to... [+] Show more
The Senate Select Committee on Work and Care (committee) was appointed by resolution of the Senate on 3 August 2022, to inquire into and report on the following matters: (a) the extent and nature of the combination of work and care across Australia and the impact of changes in demographic and labour force patterns on work-care arrangements in recent decades; (b) the impact of combining various types of work and care (including of children, the aged, those with disability) upon the well-being of workers, carers and those they care for; (c) the adequacy of workplace laws in relation to work and care and proposals for reform; (d) the adequacy of current work and care supports, systems, legislation and other relevant policies across Australian workplaces and society; (e) consideration of the impact on work and care of different hours and conditions of work, job security, work flexibility and related workplace arrangements; (f) the impact and lessons arising from the [Coronavirus Disease 2019] COVID-19 crisis for Australia's system of work and care; (g) consideration of gendered, regional and socio-economic differences in experience and in potential responses including for First Nations working carers, and potential workers; (h) consideration of differences in experience of disabled people, workers who support them, and those who undertake informal caring roles; (i) consideration of the policies, practices and support services that have been most effective in supporting the combination of work and care in Australia, and overseas; and (j) any related matters.
On 18 October 2022, the committee tabled a substantive interim report [available in VOCEDplus at TD/TNC 150.503], making eight recommendations. The committee's final report was to be tabled by the second sitting Tuesday in February 2023, and the Senate later agreed to extend this date to 9 March 2023. This final report builds upon, and expands, the recommendations of the interim report, offering a more complete response to the current work and care crisis that this final report more fulsomely documents. The committee published 125 submissions, which are listed at Appendix 1, held 11 public hearings, and undertook a site visit to the Amazon Fulfilment Centre in Kemps Creek, Western Sydney, on 30 January 2023. A list of witnesses who gave evidence at the above hearings is available at Appendix 2.
This report consists of eight chapters, considering discrete issues within the work and care system over the course of people's lives, and concluding with recommendations for holistic changes and improvements to that system. Chapter 2 provides a contextual overview of the structural barriers and social inequalities in Australian society and workplaces. The chapter considers how these conditions are reinforcing gender and other inequalities, devaluing care work and failing to improve women's equal participation in the workforce. Chapter 3 looks at the early childhood education and care (ECEC) system and presents evidence on the current ECEC and Paid Parental Leave (PPL) systems, concluding with suggestions on how both can be improved. Chapter 4 looks more closely at the unique work and care circumstances facing specific cohorts - young people, migrant and culturally and linguistically diverse communities, First Nations communities and disabled people. Chapter 5 examines the undervaluation and conditions of paid and unpaid care and their consequences for working carers, those they care for as well as the workforce and our economy.
Chapter 6 details the evidence received about the importance of predictable working hours, roster justice and job security. It considers the evidence regarding the right to disconnect and how workplaces could implement more flexible arrangements to help people better manage their work and care responsibilities. It specifically considers the viability and benefits of a four-day working week for working carers, and in particular, women. Chapter 7 examines the financial supports available to working carers, including the JobSeeker payment, as well as the leave entitlements available under the National Employment Standards (NES), such paid and unpaid carer's leave, and PPL. The committee's view and 33 recommendations are contained in the final chapter which focuses on fixing the architecture of the work and care system, making sure it better aligns with the experiences of working carers and promotes women's engagement with paid employment throughout their working lives.
Edited excerpts from publication.[-] Show less
Subjects: Employment; Gender; Equity; Indigenous people; Industry; Income; Policy; Governance; Youth
Keywords: Working conditions; Work life balance; Standard of living; Social cost; Barrier; People with disability; Equal opportunity; Equal treatment; Social change; Social conditions; Older people; Perception; Government policy; Government expenditure; Employment practice; Migrants; Recommendations
Geographic subjects: Australia; Oceania
Published: Canberra, Australian Capital Territory: Parliament of Australia, 2023
Physical description: xxix, 234 p.