Employers must urgently move into the present century and stop repeating the mistakes of the past.

“This International Women’s Day we call on employers to modernise their view of work and women’s caring responsibilities.

Whilst many employers do their best to accommodate workers caring needs, many outmoded ideas by industry dinosaurs continue to hurt Australians,” said ACTU President Ged Kearney.

“Many employers still believe family and work are mutually exclusive which is, frankly, ridiculous,” she said.

“It’s time we said enough is enough to those who discriminate against women because they are pregnant, have small children, disabled children or unwell parents.”

It’s in the employer’s interest to evolve, she said.

“Employers are missing out on a lot of talented workers when they don’t attempt to accommodate those employees who have to carry, sometimes alone, the responsibilities of caring,” she said.

“I’m talking about, for example, a woman with young kids who needs to leave work early or a man who wants to take time off to care for an elderly parent and an employer “letting them go” because they consider their lives too ‘complicated’.

“These ideas are barriers that discriminate against workers, forcing those with caring responsibilities, mostly women, into insecure jobs with less protections and career opportunities.”

Unions call on employers to open their minds to different working hours and conditions that allow women time to care, whilst keeping secure, productive jobs and careers.