Wonky work-life bal­ance

The Weekend Post - - News -

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.”

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