31 January 2005
Unions Anticipate Boost for Women Workers
Reported plans by the Government to further increase childcare support would improve work opportunities for thousands of women, Council of Trade Unions vice-president Helen Kelly said today.
Unions were anticipating initiatives in the Prime Minister’s speech to Parliament tomorrow which focussed on supporting women in to the workforce.
“Lack of quality, affordable childcare is a huge barrier to many women who are trying to balance paid work with the rest of their lives,” Helen Kelly said.
Unions and the Government also realised that one way of tackling the critical skills shortage is to enable women to return to paid work with good quality care arrangements in place for their families and other dependents.
“Boosting women's labour market participation is good for the economy but we need to make sure it is good for women and families and that means decent jobs, realistic hours of work and family friendly workplaces."
Unions also welcomed the news that the Government was looking at British moves to increase paid parental leave to one year and provide “dawn to dusk” out of school care, Helen Kelly said.
“We are also looking at the speech for a positive message in other key policy areas such as skills training, economic development, quality public resources, superannuation and workplace productivity.”