Fall in mothers' use of flexible work arrangements


In the first decade of the new millennium, Australia saw significant growth in the use of flexible work arrangements to care for children such as part-time work. However, recent results released from the Australian Bureau of Statistics’ Childhood Education and Care survey show that the uptake of these arrangements has slowed since 2008.

ABS Education Program Manager, Stephen Collett, said that in 1999, 27 per cent of all employed male parents with children under twelve years used at least one form of flexible work arrangement to care for children. By 2008, this figure had risen to 41 per cent. However, the most recent survey conducted in June 2017 showed that this rate had remained relatively stable since 2008, at 42 per cent.

For employed female parents, there has been a fall in the use of flexible work arrangements in recent years. In 1999, 68 per cent of women reported using at least one form of these arrangements to care for children. This rate grew to a peak of 75 per cent in 2011, but since then has fallen back slightly to 70 per cent in 2017.

Mr Collett noted the fall in the female rate over the last six years was primarily due to fewer mothers with children under twelve years working part-time to care for their children. For both male and female parents, over the last six years, the survey showed modest increases in the take up of working at home to support caring for children.

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