Extra childcare places are welcome but on their own will not provide enough help for parents needing to balance their family responsibilities with going to work.
If the Federal Government is serious about supporting parents wanting to
return to work it should introduce a new law that gives parents the right to
request part-time work or more flexible working hours from their employer, says
“Childcare is an important part of the story, but it is of little use if
parents cannot find part-time work or secure jobs with flexible working hours,”
ACTU President, Sharan Burrow said today in response to reports that the Federal
Government is set to boost childcare places for low income parents as part of
the May Budget.
Research shows that the opportunities for decent part-time work just aren’t
Around 60% of mothers that work full-time would prefer to work part-time.
And for parents that do have part-time work, 66% of part-time jobs are
casual. This means they have little job security and have no entitlement to paid
leave if their children are sick.
” The Federal Government should support new laws that make workplaces more
family-friendly for parents and people with caring responsibilities,” Sharan
” Not only is it harmful to force parents back to work before their children
are ready, it is wrong to suggest parents should lose their benefits when there
are not enough childcare places and too few employers are prepared to offer
family-flexible working hours.
” The ACTU calls for a package of measures in the forthcoming May Federal
Budget that would fix the crisis in childcare places, bring forward the
financial help for childcare the Government promised in the election campaign,
fund extra skills training for low income parents and introduce laws to support
parents who request flexible working hours.
” The ACTU also supports calls for a national summit that would examine the
chronic shortage of childcare places and look at other measures to help parents
balance work and family.”