Wonky work-life balance
LANAI SCARR AUSSIE families are struggling with some of the worst work-life balance in the world.
According to research that analysed OECD and World Bank data, Australia ranks 27 out of 37 countries on work-life balance for parents.
It took into account such aspects as annual hours worked, paid annual leave allowances, paid maternity leave and paid paternity leave.
New Zealand ranked two below Australia in the Expert Market research and the worst country was the US.
Finland, Germany and Japan were among the best for parental work-life balance.
According to the index, Australians are working an average of 1669 hours a year, get 20 paid annual leave days, just 7.6 weeks full-time equivalent paid maternity leave and only 0.8 weeks full-time equivalent paternity leave.
This compares to Germany with the lowest average working hours at 1363 hours a year, France with 30.3 paid annual leave days, Estonia with 85 weeks of full-time equivalent paid maternity leave and Japan with 30.4 weeks of fulltime equivalent paid paternity leave. Australia had the second lowest paid maternity leave rate of all the countries in the study.
Expert Market research head Adelle Kehoe said, while Australia wasn’t the worst country, it certainly was on the “wrong end of the scale”.
“As other countries adapt and change their infrastructure to support a more equal family centric life Australia risks being left behind with an outdated and unfair parental leave system which may alienate younger generations seeking a better work-life balance for their families,” she said.
Social Services Minister Christian Porter said that Australia’s government-provided Paid Parental Leave scheme was generous with families able to access 20 weeks’ pay at $695 a week.
“Australia does have generous Paid Parental Leave provisions, with taxpayerprovided PPL costing $2.2 billion a year.
“This is in addition to employer-provided PPL and Family Tax Benefits.”