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It's About Time - Chapter 2

It's About Time

Chapter 2: It's about time

2.1 Introduction
2.2 What the Australian community told us
2.3 Responding to conflicts in paid work and caring responsibilities
2.4 Paid and unpaid work and the national interest: Prosperity and social wellbeing
2.5 Conclusion

Woman: Paid work and child care

I end up doing the bulk of the unpaid work at home because my husband being a handyman, most nights he gets home at 7-7.30 so by that time I've taken the kids to their squad training three times a week. So three nights a week I'm off at the swimming pool doing that. Tuesdays we have a meeting at work, now on Thursdays my younger son is going to be doing cricket training - so that sort of takes up all my afternoons. And then when I get home I've got to get dinner ready, get the washing done, so I've got to do all the housework, help the kids with their homework, and most times I just think, just don't do it, just leave it, I'm just so tired... My husband still works on the Saturday, so yeah, like most people look forward to the weekend, I sort of dread it, especially when there are assignments as well. That's what I was doing before I got here. It's just tiring. I'm just thinking when I go home I'm just going to find it an absolute mess.1

Man: Paid work and care of children with disability

As the boys get up I get them their medication, have a shower, the younger one frequently wets his bed so I have to sort that out. Breakfast can be a struggle; the older one has anxiety disorder and multiple personalities. The younger one has been diagnosed with AHD and lost his appetite (due to the medication). Juggling their medications in the morning can be hard... After school my wife is home generally... my wife likes to eat at about 5 with the boys. I come home about 7-7.30 and grab what's left. I watch TV with the boys [and] then I read to one whilst she reads to the other. They are supposed to go to bed by 8.30 but sometimes its 11.30 before they actually get to sleep. On weekends I drive the older one to dancing lessons. My wife doesn't drive so I do all the dropping off and shopping, and they have psychologist's appointments every other week. On the weekends I drive the younger one to activities and watch or sit outside and read the paper.2

Woman: Paid work, child care and elder care

He says "I've got a meeting and is there a chance you can start early and leave early?" so that I can then take the girls to sport. So I start work early so that I can leave early and then zoom the girls over to their training... If it's a bad week I can be straight from work to my mum's and then to the Prince of Wales hospital and then home for dinner and up again at 6 am to go to work and that can happen 5 days out of 7. And then there are my grandparents, if they call then I'll be straight over there. My grandfather is still driving but if he is having difficulties then I'll have to pick up supplies for them like milk, bread etc. and take it over... You do as much as you can. You're either cooking, doing homework, taking them to school [or] dancing, cleaning the house, doing the finances ... 3

A child's perspective

My dad sometimes has to work on weekends and doesn't spend that much time at home because he is a manager... I wish I could see him a bit more on the weekdays.4

2.1 Introduction

At the heart of efforts to "strike the balance" between paid work and family and carer responsibilities is the issue of time. How we manage the time we spend on paid work and unpaid work in daily life and throughout the various life stages is a key concern of contemporary Australian life. In the stories that the Australian community has told HREOC over the past twenty months, time pressures, conflicting demands on time and a desire for more time to enjoy family and friends all feature strongly.5 Many Australians clearly hunger for the capacity to share simple daily rituals such as family meals or significant school or sporting events, to provide care to family members with illness or disability and to commit to paid work without always struggling against time constraints.

Managing time is not just about individual choices and concerns, but also the support that exists within families and communities for those choices. Further, government policy, workplace policies and practices, and social values all play a large part in either reinforcing or constraining the choices of individuals and families.

This chapter provides an overview of the Australian community's views on balancing paid work and care. It maps the way that paid work and caring roles may change across the various life stages and points out the role that equality between men and women plays in balancing paid work and family/carer responsibilities. HREOC proposes a new framework which incorporates the principle of shared work - valued care as a way of best responding to current paid work and care conflicts. Finally, this chapter puts the paid work and family/carer responsibilities issues raised in consultations and submissions into the context of the national interest.

2.2 What the Australian community told us

The Australian community has told us that

  • Despite a decade or more of economic growth and prosperity many Australians are not living the lives they want and they feel pressured, stressed and overly constrained in the choices they can make. Many expressed dissatisfaction that their improved living standards have not appeared to bring them greater quality of life or better family relationships.

It [time pressure] is having a huge impact on children. Fundamentally there is less time. People talk about being time poor - it is common, and now you are not only time poor... you are also buggered. We always talked about quality time and now I wonder about the quality of the quality time.6

My wife and I decided when we were having kids 12 years ago that I would keep working for economic reasons and that my wife would stay at home and that is now a self fulfilling prophecy. Economically we are satisfied but it has placed enormous stress on our relationships both with the wife and children.

  • They are struggling to meet the time demands of paid work and care, particularly at key points in the life cycle such as early years parenting and caring mid-life for elderly relatives.

It's a logistical nightmare every day.8

I have NO TIME at all for myself, for my partner, for my parents, for my relatives, for my friends. My relationships with people have become very superficial and reactive. I can hardly attend to urgent calls to nurture my children. In attending to urgent matters only I deprive my children from delights of spontaneity. Their childhood [is] becoming burdened with the sense of urgency, with no time to celebrate successes, no time to unwind, all which takes away sense of achievement and enjoyment in life.9

  • They are also struggling to meet these time demands at key points in the daily and yearly cycle, such as after school hours and during school holidays or periods of demand in paid employment.

How can a woman work with four weeks leave and have kids at school which has 12-14 weeks leave - it is clearly impossible. The juggle, the struggle of our daily life could be massively improved by a serious rethink and realignment of school and work. We both work part-time as we have wanted to participate in these precious early years and have realised that school years are actually going to be harder to coordinate.10

  • External support for families managing paid work and care is patchy at best and counter productive at worst.

[W]hy is it that if I had two children, when my work hours and gross income increases by 100% from four to eight days a fortnight, my take home pay less tax and child care costs, increases by a pathetic 36%? How is that a fair and equitable proposal to entice women into the workforce?... I would dearly love to raise a large family and continue to work part time... The policies of the current government seem to recognise this need but fuddle around with an appropriate way of implementing any assistance...11

  • Governments are supporting people to manage these difficulties well in some areas but poorly in others, with some groups of people experiencing acute difficulty accessing the support they need to combine paid work and care.12

My case is typical of many lone parents... [who] have made the choice to work on a part-time basis... If I earn too much income and lose the partial parenting payment I currently receive, I will lose many of its associated benefits e.g. subsidised rent, access to low cost pharmaceutical prescriptions, assistance with car registration costs to name a few. And to earn enough income to cover these additional expenses I would need to work on a full-time basis and leave my young daughter aged 12 years to come home alone each afternoon after school...13

  • Employers are also doing better in some industries, occupations and types of employment than in others, with many employees finding it difficult to meet their caring responsibilities due to inflexible workplace structures and cultures.14

[T]he ones with most [flexibility] are those in IT or white collar work, but in traditional roles it doesn't seem to fit in.15

For the majority of unskilled workers you will take what you are given. Maybe if you are a professional you will bargain for conditions and pay.16

  • Not all Australian families feel that their choices are supported, and some feel particularly unsupported and pressured into unsatisfactory arrangements.

When my wife and I were at that stage we looked at all the finances and decided that if we had three kids then it would be worthwhile her quitting work because the child care would be too much. The other side then is you have a wife with knowledge and skills who then can't re-enter the workforce after 10 years out.17

My partner and I are 23 years old and have a set of 13 month old twins. One of the twins has a disability. I, the male have a decent job that we can just live off. There is absolutely no possible way we could put our children in child care. My partner couldn't possibly earn enough to pay for it as it is so expensive and the government doesn't give you much back. Thus I am stuck at work full time and she is stuck at home full time. We have no choice.18

  • Australian men and women do not want to be forced into paid work and care arrangements that do not suit them or their families.

You have to be earning a certain amount to make returning to work worthwhile anyway. If you have two children to put in child care and pay for that and then if it isn't worthwhile, she stays at home and there is more pressure on the father to do more [paid] work.19

  • The paid work and care arrangements that many Australians rely upon feel fragile and strained to them, particularly for those who have poor quality or lower paid work, those who experience lack of control over their working hours and those who work long hours.20

How you do get back into the workforce? You double your time, if you're a single parent.  I work[ed] six casual jobs to cover one full time job. I'm finally employed full time. How that's impacted both my children? They've seen the work ethic. And probably what we miss most is the family time. We have to push for that, so every Sunday a fortnight we have dinner together. We do a lot of juggling..."21

  • Family relationships are suffering where there is a poor balance between paid work and caring work.

I get accused of being an absentee father even when I'm at home, as I'm "still at work".22

I don't have the chance to talk to dad much at home because he is on the telephone for work.23

I would work, pick up the kids and then be expected to come home and have everything ironed, washed, dinner on the table, and his lunch made for the next day... I didn't expect it to be like that ... We separated when my youngest daughter was one...24

  • When paid work and care arrangements are balanced and stable, and unpaid work is shared within families in a way that seems fair to them, Australians report a high degree of satisfaction with work and family relationships, and a general sense of wellbeing.

I'm one of the few lucky fathers, who has a work life balance... It is best for me, best for my daughter and best for mum too.25

...I was really grateful when my wife and I went back to a sharing role. The great thing about all this is that I have a great relationship with all my kids and I don't think that this would have come about but for the time I spent at home with them and the skills that I learnt from that experience.26

2.3 Responding to conflicts in paid work and caring responsibilities

Given the complexity of paid work and family/carer responsibility issues, developing a comprehensive and practical response to the concerns that Australians raise can seem an overwhelming challenge. In HREOC's view, an important starting point is to consider and articulate a general framework on which more detailed responses can be based. Drawing on material from consultations and submissions, HREOC has concluded that a paid work and family/carer responsibilities framework must:

  • allow for changes in caring needs and responsibilities across the life cycle;
  • address equality between men and women; and
  • support a shared work - valued care approach.

Paid work and care across the life cycle

Caring needs and responsibilities clearly change over the course of a lifetime. Key transition points, such as childbirth, onset of a disability or ageing can intensify these needs and responsibilities. In addition, paid working patterns, particularly for women and people with disability, are not necessarily consistent, with many individuals entering and exiting the paid workforce as their needs or responsibilities change.

The significant social and demographic change of the past decades has meant that Australian men and women are increasingly experiencing life as both workers and carers at various points in the life course. Women are in paid work in unprecedented numbers, an increasing number of men are embracing nurturing roles within families, workforce participation of people with disability, sole parents and mature aged workers has become an Australian Government priority and the so-called "baby boomer" cohort is ageing at a time when women are giving birth later in life, thus increasing the likelihood of dual caring responsibilities for both children and ageing parents.27

The stories that HREOC has heard during the course of this project indicate that while Australia has a history based on the sole breadwinner family model,28 this is clearly an arrangement which no longer applies to the majority of families either in the paid workforce or families with caring responsibilities more broadly.

Despite these changes, Australia does not yet have a new social vision that supports these dual roles for both men and women. The most appropriate vision for Australia must be one that is flexible enough to support families throughout the life course as caring responsibilities and care needs change.

Equality between men and women is central to resolving conflict between paid work and family/carer responsibilities

Australia has progressed well in terms of promoting gender equality across many important areas of contemporary life.29 However there are also areas where Australia is not progressing so well and balancing paid work with care responsibilities is chief among them. Increased paid work opportunities for women in the past twenty years have not produced a corresponding change in the division of unpaid responsibilities between men and women. The total work effort has risen; the time available for social responsibilities has dropped. Women in paid work experience the additional pressure of managing family life, while men in full time work lack access to family life.30

While discussions about the time pressures experienced by families often focus on parents and children, other working carers, particularly primary carers, also experience these pressures.31 For example, the Working Carers Support Gateway records the experiences of Cathy, a 56 year old woman who has cared for her husband (who has Parkinson's Disease) for over 10 years and more recently also for her father. Cathy says "[C]aring became virtually full time in tandem with full time work; I moved at top speed all day, whizzed home from work three times a day to wash, shower, feed, dress, toilet one or both men, and worked till late at night so my students were not disadvantaged".32

As noted through the Striking the Balance discussion paper, women with caring responsibilities carry a disproportionate share of unpaid work, including child care, elder care and associated housework.33 Research shows that women are more likely than men to experience time pressures resulting from their high paid and unpaid workloads, with attendant health and wellbeing effects.34 Other research shows that men's time use patterns also affect their health and wellbeing in negative ways.35 HREOC's consultations and focus groups with parents lend weight and urgency to these research findings.

The consequences of this time pressure for men and women are clear. Women find it more difficult to continue in paid work, and so frequently lack economic independence or the capacity to adequately provide for their families - an economic state which becomes particularly difficult in the event of relationship breakdown. Sole parent families, usually headed by a woman, frequently live in poverty. Other specific groups of women also feel these consequences in different ways. Women with disability who have caring responsibilities often find that the many pressures on their time can make gaining and retaining employment extremely difficult.36 Further, in an era of self-funded retirement, women find themselves disadvantaged in their later years, with recent figures showing that half of all women aged 45-60 have $8 000 or less in superannuation, while 70 per cent have $25 000 or less.37

Women who devote many years to unpaid care of children and other family members are making a significant economic contribution to the Australian community, and shouldering responsibilities that would otherwise have to be taken up by tax payers through government services. Yet their experience of caring is likely to leave them financially vulnerable and with more limited employment opportunities.

Australian men find their work and occupational choices confined in different ways: they are less likely than women to provide residential care for their children after relationship breakdown, are more likely to suffer work-related injury and death and live, on average, five years less than women.38 Australian wellbeing indices also confirm that men are less likely to be happy than women.39 One explanation for these differences in men's lives is their longer hours in paid work and the pressures many men experience as breadwinners. Less time spent in care work may also restrict opportunities for developing close family relationships and community connections. For both men and women then, the imbalance of paid work and family/carer responsibilities has a direct impact on their life outcomes.

Aiming for gender equality in paid and unpaid work is therefore not simply about empowering women. As the World Economic Forum has noted: "Gender is not synonymous with women, nor is it a zero-sum game implying loss for men; rather, is refers to both women and men, and to their status, relative to each other".40 We cannot have balance between paid work and care while the onus of care is on women because of the negative effects for both women and men. Gender equality, in terms of balancing paid work with care, means assisting women and men to balance the total paid and unpaid work effort better within families. It also means a better sharing of the costs - in the broadest sense of this word - across all of the social partners in the paid work and care debate.

A shared work - valued care approach

A guiding principle for approaching paid work and caring issues, across the life cycle and supporting equality between men and women, is what has been described as a shared work - valued care approach.41 In HREOC's view, shared work - valued care means sharing unpaid and paid work better across the labour market and the community, in addition to better sharing between individual men and women. It means sharing the work of caring between families, the community and public institutions, and it requires governments to take a primary role in sharing the costs of care through the provision of accessible, affordable and high quality care and support services for both children and adults who need them.42 These include child care services, aged care services, specialist disability services and programs which provide personal and domestic care for older people and people with disability living in the community. It also means valuing the caring work of employees, ensuring quality employment for those who provide care and sharing the responsibility for care between individuals and quality service providers. It is a guiding principle for a policy response to paid work and family that recognises that the traditional breadwinner-full time home carer model is no longer the most common work and care arrangement in Australia.

A shared work - valued care approach is not a single model for dealing with paid work and care, but a flexible approach that recognises that preferred arrangements will change over time as family/carer responsibilities and family circumstances change. The framework is above all an integrated approach that considers balancing paid work and care as a task which requires a collective and ongoing response from a range of social participants.

To move towards this we must consider in what ways governments, employers, policy makers, non-government organisations and individual families create both barriers and supports for a model of shared work and care, and ways in which different family types can negotiate these. Government has a major role in establishing and supporting this framework, as well as a responsibility to ensure that it is implemented across the relevant portfolios.

Recent research into the policy frameworks which best facilitate a balance between paid work and family/carer responsibilities suggests that there are three key components of these frameworks: public family leave policies, working time regulations, and public systems of early childhood education and care.43

Further, what is required is an approach based on a universal caregiver idea which encourages both men and women to share care and paid work and which would include a combination of shorter or more flexible working hours with informal care and locally organised but publicly supported care services.44

This model also fits well with recommendations from HREOC's National Inquiry into Employment and Disability that advocate guidelines and campaigns to encourage workplace flexibilities to meet the needs of people with disability, as well as responding to the needs of other employees such as carers and older workers.45

Australian research supports this approach by suggesting that not only do we need to respond to the peak loads at particular points in the life course, but that the policy measures that are adopted in relation to family allowances or tax concessions for parents, access to care services and employment based measures will be most effective when men are encouraged to reduce their paid work and participate in caring.46 Encouraging and supporting equality between men and women, as noted throughout the Striking the Balance discussion paper, is a key part of this process.

Individual views on the shared work - valued care approach may differ according to the variety of choices that Australian families want to make about managing their competing responsibilities. However, as the following chapters make clear, HREOC's public consultation process has revealed widespread agreement on the principles embodied by this model. The question of how to implement these principles is therefore the focus of the remainder of this report.

2.4 Paid and unpaid work and the national interest: Prosperity and social wellbeing

The time pressures that many Australian families experience in relation to balancing paid work and care indicate that despite more than a decade of unbroken economic growth, including increases in real incomes and national wealth and improved productivity growth,47 further consideration has to be given to the measure of our social wellbeing. While productivity and prosperity are important goals, they are not enough in themselves to create a healthy and cohesive community which values the wellbeing of its citizens, supports strong relationships and values both paid and unpaid work.

Prosperity: Making Australians time-rich

While prosperity is easily understood and appreciated as the outcome of good economic management, our national and social wellbeing is a more complex construction with a number of components such as mental and physical health and a sense of connectedness to others.

A truly prosperous society is one that values time as well as money, whether this be time spent with children or other relatives in leisure activities, time spent working voluntarily within community or, as noted throughout the paper, time spent meeting day-to-day care needs.

Criticism of financial measures of success emerged as a strong theme within submissions and in HREOC focus groups and consultations. Many people identified "keeping up with the Jones's" as a barrier to a good balance between paid work and family/carer responsibilities because of the financial burden it places on family budgets.48 Recent discussions about "affluenza" also evidence a growing concern about quality of life and a desire for individual and community values that emphasise social prosperity as well as economic prosperity.49

As the Treasurer has argued, the three "P"s - the three factors that contribute to prosperity - are population, participation and productivity.50 These factors are all influenced by how well we balance our paid work and care arrangements. Greater equality in both how families manage these responsibilities and how our society bears responsibility for them will be the key challenge for our continuing economic prosperity as well as the wellbeing of our communities and our citizens.

Social wellbeing

While many Australians appreciate the productivity and prosperity that have resulted from the social and economic changes of the past decades, the lack of time for care and community activities is one effect that they do not enjoy. Social wellbeing can be assessed through examining such objective measures as access to economic resources, adequate housing, health services, education and freedom from discrimination and violence. Social wellbeing can also be measured by examining more subjective measures such as social inclusion and connectedness and individuals' feelings of happiness and personal wellbeing. Some of the possible determinants of social wellbeing include

  • Gender equality
  • Family care of older people requiring care
  • Maximising children's health and welfare
  • Support for families and people in vulnerable situations
  • Alleviating poverty and disadvantage
  • Supportive working conditions and productive and harmonious workplaces
  • Community connectedness.51

Each of these social determinants of wellbeing is enhanced by a commitment to sharing work and valuing care. They require investment and sound management and are thus as much the responsibility of government as economic management.

Research confirms the substantial cost to both employers and governments of not responding to conflicts between paid work and family/carer responsibilities, with a recent large scale Canadian study finding that high levels of conflict had a negative impact on employers' bottom lines and increased demands on Canada's health care system by billions of dollars each year.52

Not only do poor levels of wellbeing immediately impact on individual quality of life, they also incur costs for society as a whole through the additional taxation required to raise them to more acceptable levels and indeed through the cost of low levels of wellbeing of some citizens being borne by others (the relationship between poor levels of wellbeing and crime being one obvious example). In other words, wellbeing is an important part of the national interest and in this sense Australia's overall prosperity is as much the outcome of investment in wellbeing as it is economic management. In any case it is pointless to pursue prosperity and wellbeing outcomes as if these were independent of each other. The national interest is best served by integrating social and economic policy.

2.5 Conclusion

Reconciling paid work and family/carer responsibilities is central to the social and economic progress of the nation. The balance between paid and unpaid responsibilities directly affects many aspects of family and individual wellbeing and in order to ensure the best national outcome we clearly need to start taking the need for balance into greater account. This will not be possible unless we make unpaid caring responsibilities a greater priority and incorporate them into a social vision that will help us meet our paid work and care responsibilities across the life course. In order to develop a workable model for balancing paid work and family/carer responsibilities we need to develop a new framework centred around a guiding principle of shared work - valued care that will collectively and individually meet the social and demographic challenges currently facing Australia.

The interaction between the factors that affect the balance of paid work and family/carer responsibilities is complex and multi-layered. A central aim of this paper is to propose a series of actions to address these factors. As indicated by our list of recommendations, some of the areas that HREOC believes require change can be addressed relatively easily, by the shared efforts of various social participants in the paid work and family debate. In other areas however, there is a pressing need for more information and for review and consolidation of current policy and activities. The recommendations in this paper address the key areas that have been raised consistently with HREOC as blockages to adequate balance between paid work and family/carer responsibilities.


[1] HREOC Focus group 4, February 2005.

[2] HREOC Focus group 5, February 2005.

[3] HREOC Focus group 3, February 2005.

[4] HREOC Focus group 15 (Primary school aged children 9-12 years), January 2006.

[5] Similar stories were also reported to the recent House of Representatives Inquiry into Balancing Work and Family. See House of Representatives Standing Committee on Family and Human Services Balancing Work and Family Report of the inquiry into balancing work and family Commonwealth of Australia Canberra December 2006, pp 23-24.

[6] Community Consultation, Perth, 13 September 2005

[7] Union Consultation, Canberra, 5 September 2005.

[8] Community consultation, NSW Central Coast, 4 August 2005.

[9] Jasna Hadzimejlic, Submission 82, p 2.

[10] Shona Guilfoyle, Submission 176.

[11] Natalie Morton, Submission 65.

[12] See discussion throughout Chapters 6, 7, and 8.

[13] Anne Stewart, Submission 42.

[14] See discussion in Chapter 4.

[15] Community consultation, Melbourne, 17 August 2005.

[16] Union consultation, Darwin, 23 September 2005.

[17] Union consultation, Hobart, 11 August 2005.

[18] Respondent in a survey on work and family balance cited in Community and Public Sector Union, Submission 90, p 13.

[19] Community consultation, Sydney, 9 November 2005.

[20] See discussion in Chapter 4 (sections 4.3, 4.5, 4.6, 4.7, 4.8 and 4.10).

[21] Community consultation, NSW Central Coast, 4 August 2005.

[22] HREOC Focus group 9 (Male long hours worker), July 2005.

[23] HREOC Focus group 15 (Primary school aged children 9-12 years), January 2006.

[24] HREOC Focus group 3, February 2005.

[25] Phil Jones, Submission 4.

[26] Bob Hodgson, Submission 58.

[27] See Striking the Balance discussion paper at pp 52-56; pp 67-77 and Chapter 4 (4.5) and Chapter 8 (8.3 and 8.4).

[28] See Striking the Balance discussion paper at pp 52-53 and discussion in Chapter 4 (4.4 and 4.9).

[29] Across the five areas used by the World Economic Forum to measure the gender gap between women and men: economic participation, economic opportunity, political empowerment, educational attainment, and health and wellbeing, Australia is ranked as number ten out of the fifty-eight countries assessed for the extent to which women have achieved equality with men. World Economic Forum Women's Empowerment: Measuring the global gender gap World Economic Forum Geneva 2005.

[30] This point was made repeatedly in HREOC consultations and focus groups - see quotes throughout this paper and in Chapter 5 in particular. See also Striking the Balance discussion paper pp 52-55 and p 57.

[31] While the average carer provides around nine hours care per week, nearly half of all primary carers of people with a profound core activity limitation provide more than 40 hours per week of care and a further 10 per cent provide between 20 and 39 hours per week: Access Economics The Economic Value of Informal Care Report for Carers Australia August 2005, p i and p 8.

[32] See Working Carers Support Gateway at See also stories reported by Carers NSW at

[33] See Striking the Balance discussion paper Chapter 3 and Chapter 4.

[34]See research cited in Striking the Balance discussion paper pp 58-59.

[35] See Leonie Bloomfield, Submission 34. See also L J Bloomfield Killing Time: The effect of boredom during unstructured leisure time on men's health Unpublished Ph.D. Thesis Melbourne Victoria University, 2005.

[36] See for example People with Disability, Submission 104 and Disability Council of NSW, Submission 76. See also discussion in Chapter 8 (8.4).

[37] Simon Kelly "Entering Retirement: The financial aspects" in Peter Kriesler, Michael Johnson and John Lodewijks (eds) Essays in Heterodox Economics Proceedings and Refereed papers Fifth Australian Society of Heterodox Economics Conference 11-12 December 2006, University of New South Wales Sydney, pp 285-297 at p 295.

[38] ABS Australian Social Trends 2006 Cat No 4102.0 July 2006, p 30 and p 60; ABS Measures of Australia's Progress 2006 Cat No 1370.0 May 2006, p 54 and Marcello Gizzi and Abdul Monaem "The Health of Males in NSW" NSW Public Health Bulletin 2001 12, pp 322-324; and ABS Deaths, Australia 2004 Cat No 3302.0 December 2006, p 31.

[39] See Robert A Cummins Australian Unity Wellbeing Index Survey 14.1 Fifth Anniversary Special Report - Summarising the major findings Australian Centre on Quality of Life Deakin University Melbourne April 2006, p 10.

[40] World Economic Forum Women's Empowerment: Measuring the global gender gap World Economic Forum Geneva 2005, p 1.

[41] See Eileen Appelbaum, Thomas Bailey, Peter Berg and Arne L Kallenberg Shared Work-Valued Care: New norms for organizing market work and unpaid care work Economic Policy Institute Washington DC 2002, p vii. "Shared work" has many meanings according to the authors, but includes the following: sharing paid work among people through shorter working weeks, reduced hours and flexible schedules; sharing access to good jobs; recognising that equal access in paid work requires recognition that unpaid care work is work; and that men and women must share the important work of providing care. "Valued care" also has many meanings, including: employees' access to flexible scheduling so they can take greater control of their time at and away from paid work; child care and elder care shared as private and public responsibilities; high quality care services; and decent working conditions for paid carers (pp 14-15). The model replaces what the authors characterise as the "unencumbered worker - devalued caregiver" model (pp 4-13).

[42] Eileen Appelbaum, Thomas Bailey, Peter Berg and Arne L Kallenberg Shared Work-Valued Care: New norms for organizing market work and unpaid care work Economic Policy Institute Washington DC 2002, p viii.

[43] Janet C Gornick and Marcia K Meyers "Welfare Regimes in Relation to Paid Work and Care" November 2005 Paper from the Conference Reforms of Social Protection in the Countries of Continental Europe and of the South French Ministry for Health and Solidarity (SICOM) 19-20 December 2005, p 3. The OECD similarly identifies the three major areas of policy which contribute to helping families combine work and family life as child care, leave and part time work: OECD Babies and Bosses: Reconciling work and family life OECD Paris 2002, p 16. Current Australian research also reinforces these themes - arrangements which have been identified as promoting work-life balance include income security, employment security, access to care arrangements, access to flexible leave (including standard leave entitlements and parental leave), flexible working time arrangements, control over unfriendly working hours, access to training and career path and innovative work arrangements: John Burgess, Lindy Henderson and Glenda Strachan "'I Just Juggle': Work and Family Balance in Australian Organisations" Paper presented at the "Our Work... Our Lives" National Conference on Women and Industrial Relations 12-14 July 2006.

[44] Fiona Williams What matters to people in their family lives and personal relationships? From everyday practical ethics to a political ethic of care Presentation to the Social Policy Research Centre University of NSW 7 March 2006, pp 16-17.

[45]Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission WORKability II: Solutions Final Report of the National Enquiry into Employment and Disability HREOC Sydney December 2005, p 130.

[46] Michael Bittman "Taking Care of Working Parents: Time, money and wellbeing" Paper presented to the Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia Workshop Taking Care of Work and Family: Policy Agendas for Australia University of Sydney 17-18 November 2005.

[47] ABS Measures of Australia's Progress 2006 Cat No 1370.0 May 2006, pp 60-67; pp 74-82; pp 86-91.

[48] Community consultation, NSW Central Coast, 4 August 2005; Community consultation, Kalgoorlie, 12 September 2005; Employer consultation, Darwin, 22 September 2005; Community consultation, Perth, 13 September 2005; Kay Pearson, Submission 3; and Jenny Smith, Submission 8.

[49] See, for example, discussion in Clive Hamilton and Richard Denniss Affluenza: When too much is never enough Allen and Unwin Crows Nest, 2005.

[50] The Hon Peter Costello MP Treasurer "The Paths to Increasing Australian Prosperity" Address to the Australian Financial Review Leaders' Luncheon Sydney 7 August 2002.

[51] Australian, State and Territory Governments currently undertake a wide range of programs focusing on these areas.

[52] A report for Heath Canada estimated the health care-related costs of high work-life conflict at approximately $6 billion a year attributable to high role overload, $5 billion a year to high caregiver strain, $2.8 billion to high work to family interference and half a billion dollars to high family to work interference: Chris Higgins, Linda Duxbury and Karen Johnson Exploring the Link Between Work-Life Conflict and Demands on Canada's Health Care System Public Health Agency of Canada 2004, p 51.