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Aussie women want more men to help in childcare: Demand cap on work hours

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Mishra, Susmita Pathak
Publication Date: 
30 May 2016



The latest report has revealed that it is necessary to cap work hours to 38 hours a week so that men could support women in household and childcare activities and for women to still be able to work.

Work + Family Policy Roundtable, a network of 34 academics, has demanded the capping of working hours in Australia to a maximum of 38 hours in a week to ensure gender equality across the nation. The regulator also agreed to the overtime principle in case the people involved agree to it. It has also requested the federal government to make it a regular pattern of work hours for casual as well as part-time workers to allow them to work for a minimum of four hours in one shift. This will ensure the men to also get a chance to spend some time in raising their children up and women don’t have to be solely responsible for childcare.

The network’s co-convenor, Professor Sara Charlesworth from RMIT University, claimed that several Aussie women who took care of their children worked as part-time workers for companies. “We have one of the most gendered and polarised working time regimes in the OECD,” she said as quoted by the Sydney Morning Herald. “When women become mothers they tend to work very short part-time hours. As soon as a man becomes a father his hours of work go up. Australian male full-time hours tend to be much longer than the OECD norm.”

The Work, Care and Family Policies 2016 Election Benchmark has also demanded paid palliative care leave, paid annual leave and domestic violence leave for casual workers.

Meanwhile, Fox News reported that the University of Queensland’s researcher Ning Xiang conducted a study recently. It suggested that if working mothers gave less than 20 hours a week to their work, then they have the chance to continue breastfeeding their babies because of the recommended period of six months to reduce health risks of the infants.

-reprinted from Australia Network