New approach required for work and family
Wednesday, 13 October 2004
University of Adelaide labour studies expert Dr Barbara Pocock today criticised the election treatment of work and family issues and called for a new approach.
Dr Pocock, who will be using the T. R. Ashworth Annual Lecture in Sociology in Melbourne tonight to expand on her views, argues that while the 2004 election saw billions of dollars thrown at families - especially focussed on tax and benefits - work and family issues are about more than money.
"They are about good institutions of care, workplace cultures and labour law that supports the combination of work with care," said Dr Pocock, Associate Professor and QEII Research Fellow, Labour Studies, School of Social Sciences, University of Adelaide
"It is time for a new approach, one that provides working carers with international standards on paid parenting leave and quality childcare.
"It is also time for a new national approach to childcare. The election saw a renewed focus on this issue, but piecemeal solutions. Australia can afford to do much better - and we need to for the sake of our children and carers, as well as efficient workplaces and higher labour market participation," she said.
In her lecture, Dr Pocock will set out a set of principles to underpin a flexible and fair labour market, also calling for a national approach to childcare, and arguing for a years paid leave for working carers.
The T. R. Ashworth lecture is at 6:00pm today in the Public Policy Lecture Theatre, 2nd Floor, 234
Queensbury Street, Carlton, The University of Melbourne.
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