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4102.0 - Australian Social Trends, Nov 2013  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 20/11/2013   
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20 November 2013
Embargo: 11:30 am (Canberra Time)

Flexible work arrangements help mothers back to work

The latest Australian Social Trends (AST) report, released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), looks at the work transitions of mothers and their partners.

ABS Director of Social and Progress Reporting, Fiona Dowsley, said flexible work arrangements remain an important factor when it comes to labour force participation after the birth of a child.

"Most mothers used flexible work arrangements when they started or returned to work for the first time, with over four out of five mothers opting to work part-time,

"Having a partner with flexible work arrangements may help some mothers to balance their own work commitments, with one in five of their partners accessing flexible work hours after the birth,"said Ms Dowsley.

The AST report shows half of mothers who worked during pregnancy returned to work within the first two years.

"The most common main reason given by mothers for returning to work were to keep their job or because their employer had requested their return. Financial considerations and maintaining self-esteem were also issues.”

"Over one quarter of mothers who had a job during their pregnancy permanently left their job, with almost half of these women doing so to care for their child," Ms Dowsley said.

Further details are available in Australian Social Trends (cat. no. 4102.0) available for free download from the ABS website (

Media Note: Please ensure when reporting on ABS data that you attribute the Australian Bureau of Statistics (or the ABS) as the source.

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