National Working Families Survey released – your help needed in shaping the future

by Freya Lucas

July 12

A nationwide study is being launched this month, asking working parents and carers across Australia to give their feedback on how workplaces could be made more family friendly, and gender equal, when it comes to sharing the caring load. 

 

The survey will be of interest not only to those who are employed in the early childhood education and care (ECEC) sector whilst raising children, but also for the promotion of the survey amongst families using different services in the broader sector. 

 

Parenting education providers, Parents At Work and Karitane have teamed up with corporate Australia and researchers from two Australian universities to gather new evidence about how Australian families are balancing work and care and what is needed to improve the juggle. 

 

Families of all shapes and sizes are invited to participate. The survey has been designed to be an inclusive experience which seeks input from parents of all genders and all types of families, and includes mothers and fathers of young children (0-18 years), working in a range of occupations and industries nationally, as well as any carers who spend a significant amount of time looking after children. 

 

The survey covers a wide range of important issues directly relevant to working families including:

 

  • parental leave support, 
  • flexible work needs, 
  • child care and overall challenges experienced when managing their job and; 
  • caring demands. 

 

Emma Walsh, CEO of Parents At Work said the collaborative efforts of those putting the survey together is “significant – it tells us that businesses across Australia are ready to take their support for families and the community to a new level. The commitment to understand families’ needs will allow organisations to design jobs and workplaces that value a parent or carer’s dual roles as well as raise the importance of all aspects of ‘the village’ – including the business community – in raising the next generation.” 

 

In creating the survey, organisers hope to gain a deeper understanding of how workplaces can better address ways of combining work with care responsibilities. The outcomes of the survey will help inform policies and programs needed to create more inclusive family friendly workplaces. 

 

Annabel Crabb, Writer/Presenter, ABC and Author of a forthcoming Quarterly Essay about fathers and work, noted that the survey was an important, and welcomed addition to the discussion on how work and family responsibilities could be more successful, saying;

 

“This is such an important and under-explored area of research. Australian families don’t really function any more in the way workplaces have traditionally expected them to. The more we know about the hidden world of the Australian home, the better the world of work can adapt to bring some real equality for families struggling to balance the two.” 

 

The 2019 National Working Families Survey is a not for profit initiative spearheaded by Parents At Work, Karitane, Deloitte, QBE, Baker McKenzie, KPMG, Westpac, IKEA and HSBC

 

These organisations form part of the Advancing Parental Leave Equality Network (APLEN) with the survey being its first initiative since its inception in early 2019. 

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