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Tougher stance needed on family friendly workplaces

12 December 2012

Tougher stance needed on family friendly workplaces in the fight against child poverty

The Public Service Association says a recommendation from the Children’s Commissioner on Solutions to Child Poverty about family friendly workplaces, doesn’t go far enough.

The Commissioner’s Expert Advisory Group has released its final report which includes a recommendation for industry bodies to raise awareness among employers of the value of family friendly workplaces. It says family friendly practices can make the difference between being employed or not.

The PSA supports the recommendation but believes it needs to go further.

“We would like to see the government take concrete steps which would actually require employers to provide family friendly workplaces and have solid policy around it,” says PSA National Secretary Brenda Pilott.

“Child poverty is inextricably linked to people’s ability to work and earn a decent wage. Family friendly workplaces and policies can play a big part in that and also help people get back into the workforce,” she says.

Many low paid workers such as those in the disability and home support sectors struggle to afford or arrange childcare in the face of minimum pay rates and inflexible working hours.

“It would make a big difference to the lives of so many workers, and more importantly to the health and wellbeing of children, if family friendly practices were a standard requirement in workplaces, rather than being left to the whim of individual employers.”

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