The Australian Work + Family Policy Roundtable is a research network of 31 academics from 18 universities and research institutions with expertise on work, care and family policy. The goal of the Roundtable is to propose, comment upon, collect and disseminate research to inform evidence-based public policy in Australia.
This week, the Roundtable proposed a set of research-informed Policy Benchmarks against which election proposals for improving work, care and family outcomes in Australia can be assessed.
The benchmarks arise out of collective research expertise and discussion held at workshops held in October 2020 and March 2022 with this year’s focus on policies that place ‘respect, work, care and equality at the centre of public life to support a strong and inclusive recovery and build the foundation of a resilient economy.’
The benchmarks provide guidance in five key areas that recognise and support the connection between work and care across society and the economy. The five key areas include:
- Decent Work
- High-quality infrastructure and sustainable care workforce
- Gender pay equality
- Safe and respectful workplaces
- Institutional support for decent work and decent care
The Roundtable believes work, care and family policy proposal must be guided by sound principles and included in their summary:
- recognition that good management of the work-life interface is a key characteristic of good labour law and social policy
- support for both women and men to be paid workers and to share unpaid work and care
- protecting the well-being of children, people with disability and elders who require care
- ensuring gender equality including pay equity
- ensuring flexible working rights are available in practice, not just in policy, to all workers through effective regulation, education and enforcement
“Work Care and family life have been severely disrupted by more than two years of pandemic, fire and flood crises. The economy is recovering but our care systems are seriously damaged and in desperate need of renovation”
“A new social contract that puts respect and gender equality at the centre of public policy is now urgently needed”
Work + Family Policy Roundtable
In light of the impact of Covid, along with the natural disasters of the past two years, UNICEF Australia and Parents At Work call on all workplaces to adopt Family Friendly Workplace practices and support the embedding of policies that see ‘respect, work, care and equality’ at the centre of decision making.
Read the Roundtable report and recommendations here
About Family Friendly Workplaces
Family Friendly Workplaces strive to reduce the tension that exists between work and family by embedding and promoting policies and practices that genuinely support employees to thrive at work and at home. To find out more about becoming a certified Family Inclusive Workplace™ please contact [email protected]