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The Senate report made 33 recommendations about ways to improve peoples’ lives (Unsplash/Israel Andrade)

How we think about, and value, our work and our caring arrangements needs a major shake up, according to a new Senate committee report. Source: ABC News.

The committee on work and care had been tasked with taking a wide-ranging look at our current systems and the impact they have on people who are caring for loved ones, or others, at the same time as holding down a job. 

In its final report, it made 33 recommendations about ways to improve peoples’ lives and provide more support in a range of areas from multicultural carer services to backing pay rises for other care industries.

One recommnendation is a four-day work-week trial, with committee suggesting the Government use the 100:80:100 model:

“Whereby employees retain 100 per cent of the salary while reducing their hours to 80 per cent while maintaining 100 per cent productivity,” it said. 

The committee recommended a further boost to the amount of leave offered to parents , to “reach international best practice of 52 weeks.” 

The committee also recommended increases in welfare payments and award wage increases for all care sectors.

Even though there were no dissenting reports, both Government and Coalition MPs noted the economic reality of implementing all of them was pretty much impossible.

Committee chair, Greens senator Barbara Pocock, said Australia was mired in a work and care crisis that demanded “bold reform”, The Australian reports.

“Australia is an international outlier in terms of our support for workers with caring responsibilities,” she said.

“We have slipped too far behind. And we are paying a price in labour supply, stressed workers, and gender inequality. It is time for a new social contract, fit for the 21st-century workforce.”


Four-day work week trial and year of paid parental leave recommended by Senate committee (Georgia Hitch, ABC News)

Labor pushed on four-day week with full pay (By Ewin Hannan, The Australian)