Today Parliament will begin hearing evidence from industry and community groups about juggling work and care responsibilities.
The Select Committee on Work and Care will be Chaired by Senator Barbara Pocock.
Senator Pocock not only is an expert in working life, but has also lived the reality of being a carer for her children, parents, and now as a grandparent.
Senator Barbara Pocock will be joined by six Senators from across the political spectrum to begin this wide-ranging inquiry, which will make recommendations about how to better help the working carers of our future.
The Inquiry has received over 100 submissions so far. It will hold hearings across Australia.
Quotes to attribute to Senator Barbara Pocock
"I’ve been a working carer for most of the last 33 years. I know first hand the challenges and the joys that it can bring.
“Working carers make up a huge proportion of the Australian workforce. In 2022, 2 million Australians provided unpaid assistance to others with a disability, long-term health condition or due to old age (ABS, 2022). Many others are working parents.
“Research tells us that combining care responsibilities with paid work results in unexpected time pressure and a complex juggle which can affect our health, earnings, relationships, productivity, and the way we work.
“We provide care work out of love, but it is time to acknowledge the impact it has on lifetime earnings and gender equality
“This inquiry will point to ways to ease the pressure on working carers. I am expecting recommendations about quality, affordable childcare and respite care, flexibility at work and improved paid parental, sick and holiday leave.
Quotes to attribute to Alison Brook, CEO of Carers Australia
“We are pleased with this opportunity to appear before the Senate on this important Inquiry, and are hoping to explore the three pillars we believe are needed to effectively support Australia’s 2.65 million unpaid carers to continue their care responsibilities and also participate in the paid workforce.
“These are carer-inclusive workplaces, including the need for carers leave in Australia to be brought in-line with other OECD countries, the need for increased substitute care options such as respite care, and reform related to the Carer Payment”