4903.3 - Managing Paid Employment and Unpaid Caring Responsibilities, Queensland, Oct 2002  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 28/04/2003   
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April 28, 2003
Embargoed: 11:30 AM (AEST)

Balancing carer responsibilities with work in Queensland

More than one million Queenslanders provided unpaid care to a child or another adult in the six months to October 2002, according to the figures released today by Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

These carers are men and women in Queensland aged 18 years or over who, in the last six months, had a child under 15 years of age, or who cared for someone else where this care was not done as part of paid work.

More than half of all women over 18 (53%) and 41% of men provided care. Of the care provided, 41% was for children under 15 years, 37% was caring for their own children only, 9% for elderly people and 13% for any other person.

Nearly half of all carers were also employees with paid employment.

Investigating how people manage the balance between their work and unpaid caring responsibilities, the ABS found:
  • Women (42%) were more likely than men (31%) to use some form of working arrangement to care for another person.
  • In the 6 months to October 2002, 46% of carers took paid leave to care for another person, 39% used flex-time, rostered days off or time off in lieu, etc, 16% worked from home and a further 16% took unpaid leave.
  • During this time, 8% of carers who were employees made changes in their work arrangements because of their caring responsibilities. Of these changes, 4% permanently altered their usual start or finish times, 3% permanently reduced the number of hours and 1% changed jobs.

The study also found that an estimated 48,700 employed women aged 18-54 years, with a child under the age of six had taken some form of maternity leave in the last five years. Of these, 50% had taken a mix of paid and unpaid leave and 37% had taken unpaid leave only.

Further information is in Managing Paid Employment and Unpaid Caring Responsibilities, Queensland, October 2002 (cat. no. 4903.3)