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WORK AND FAMILY BALANCE
The Work and Family Balance section contains the following sub-topics:
Detailed data for these sub-topics is available from the Downloads tab, above (see Tables 10 and 11).
Parental leave in the non-public sector
In 2015-16, 95% of primary parental leave used by non-public sector employees was taken by women. Primary parental leave is the type of leave most likely to affect people's career trajectories. Conversely, 96% of secondary parental leave was taken by men.
Primary parental leave is leave taken by a member of a couple or a single carer, regardless of gender, identified as having greater responsibility for the day-to-day care of a child. Secondary parental leave is leave taken by a member of a couple or a single carer who is not the primary carer.
Proportionally, managers were more likely than non-managers to use parental leave, either in a primary or secondary carer capacity (see Figure 1, below). Around one in 15 female non-public sector managers accessed primary parental leave in 2015-16, compared with one in 25 female non-managers (a rate of 6.7 per 100 female managers compared with 4 per 100 female non-managers). Rates for male managers and non-managers were 0.4 and 0.2 per 100 respectively. More men used secondary parental leave (1.4 per 100 compared with 0.1 per 100 for women), with the managerial/non-managerial split being 2.3 and 1.3 per 100 respectively. All up, 33,306 men employed in the non-public sector used some form of parental leave in 2015-16, compared with 84,884 women.
The industry with the highest take up rates of primary parental leave for women was Mining, with 12 women per 100 women in managerial positions and 11.3 women per 100 women who were non-managers having taken primary parental leave in the past year. The industry with the lowest overall take up rates for women was Retail Trade, with 4.3 women per 100 in managerial positions and 2.7 per 100 in non-managerial positions using primary parental leave. The industry with the highest take up rates of primary parental leave for men was Financial and Insurance Services, with 0.7 male managers and 0.9 male non-managers per 100 in this industry taking leave as a primary carer. This was also the industry that had the highest take up rates of secondary carer's leave for men (4.6 male managers and 4 male non-managers per 100 respectively). For more detail, see Table 10.3.
For context, in 2016, Labour Force Characteristics of Families data shows that 4.2% of families had children aged 0 to 1 year (at which age parents may be likely to be taking some parental leave). Around 5.6% of male employees in couple families had children aged 0 to 1 year, while 3.6% of female employees in couple families did so. While these data cannot be output by sector of employment, the 2016 Characteristics of Employment survey shows similar proportions of private and public sector employees had dependent children under 14 years of age, therefore it could be assumed that this is also the case for children aged 0 to 1 only.
Footnote(s): (a) Rate per 100 persons. (b) Primary parental leave is leave taken by a member of a couple or a single carer, regardless of gender, identified as having greater responsibility for the day-to-day care of a child.
Footnote(s): (a) Rate per 100 persons. (b) Secondary parental leave is leave taken by a member of a couple or a single carer, regardless of gender, who is not the primary carer.
Overall life satisfaction
On the whole, Australians are a pretty happy bunch. In 2014, just over four in every five of us (81% of both men and women aged 15 years and over) rated their overall life satisfaction as 7 or more out of 10. Around one in seven Australians were completely satisfied with their lives: 14% of both men and women reported 10 out of 10. Roughly one in twenty men and women (5% and 4% respectively) were not as happy, reporting a life satisfaction score of between 0 and 4. See Table 10.9 in the Downloads tab for more detail.
Footnote(s): (a) Overall life satisfaction is measured on a scale of 0 to 10, where 0 = not at all satisfied, and 10 = completely satisfied. A score of 7 or more is seen as 'above average'.
Source(s): ABS data available on request, General Social Survey, Australia, 2014.
In 2014, just under a third of Australians aged 15 years and over volunteered for an organisation or group (31%). Women were slightly more likely to volunteer (33% compared with 29% of men). Between 2010 and 2014, rates of volunteering for both women and men had dropped, from 38% and 34% respectively (see Figure 4 below, and Table 10.10 via the Downloads tab for more detail).
Footnote(s): (a) Males and females who volunteered as a proportion of the total population aged 18 years and over for each sex.
Source(s): Customised data, ABS General Social Survey, 2006-2014
The largest decline in volunteering over this time was for women who were employed part-time (dropping from nearly 50% to 39%), followed by men who were employed full-time (from 39% to 29%). Over the same period, however, the proportion of unemployed women who did voluntary work increased from 24% to 38% (see Table 10.10).
In 2014, people aged 35-44 years had the highest rate of volunteering of any age group (45% of women and 34% of men) (see Table 10.9). This may be linked in part with parental responsibilities around this life stage, such as coaching, supervising other children, and helping out at school. Just under a quarter of men (24%) and 28% of women born overseas engaged in volunteering, as did 28% of men and 30% of women with disability (see Table 11.10.9 Expanded content for more detail).
In 2014, people were most likely to volunteer their time for fundraising/sales activities (47% of male volunteers and 55% of female volunteers). Women were more likely to be involved in preparing/serving food (44% compared with 34% of men), while men were more likely to be engaged in coaching/refereeing/judging activities (35% compared with 19% of women), and repairing/maintenance/gardening activities (35% compared with 14%). See Table 10.10 for more detail.
Primary care of a person with disability
In 2015, 6% of females and 3% of males aged 15 years and over provided primary care to a person with disability (see Table 10.4). Of those men and women who provided care, 26% and 13% respectively were employed full time, and 14% and 27% respectively were employed part time. Over half of those who provided primary care to a person with disability (57%) were not in the labour force.
Footnote(s): (a) Persons 15 years and over, living in households. Includes those living in private and non-private dwellings but excludes those living in cared accommodation.
Source(s): ABS data available on request, Survey of Disability, Ageing and Carers, 2009, 2012 and 2015
Just under half of the women providing care were aged 45-64 years (46%), while men who provided care were most likely to be aged 55-64 years (26%). See Table 10.4 for more detail..
In 2007, just under 40% of employed men and 43% of employed women had provided care for someone, with 8% of these men and 10% of these women taking time off work to do so. Three quarters of employed women who cared for someone were caring for their own children (76%), with 9% caring for grandchildren. These proportions were 86% and 4% respectively for employed men (see Table 10.5).
Time Stress and Work and Family Balance
Whether felt rushed or pressed for time
In 2007, 35% of Australian men and 42% of Australian women felt they were always or often rushed or pressed for time. This was higher for those who provided care, rising to 46% of men and 55% of women. The main reasons women gave for feeling rushed or pressed for time were trying to balance work and family responsibilities (31%) and having too much to do or too many demands placed upon them (19%). For men, the main reasons were trying to balance work and family responsibilities (27%) and pressure of work or study (26%). See Table 10.7 for more detail.
Whether feels responsibilities are in balance
Around three in five employed Australians in 2007 felt their work and family responsibilities were always or often in balance, although 16% of men and 15% of women felt they were rarely or never in balance (see Table 10.8).
Paid and unpaid work, childcare
In 2006, the time spent on paid and unpaid work by people aged 15 years and over averaged 7 hours and 25 minutes per day for men and 7 hours and 34 minutes per day for women. This included employment related activities, formal volunteer work and unpaid work in the home (domestic, child care and purchasing activities to support the worker's household, and caring for others outside the home (informal volunteer work)).
On average, men spent nearly twice as long as women on employment related activities, while women spent nearly twice as long as men on activities associated with unpaid work, including time on domestic activities (2 hours 52 minutes per day, compared with 1 hour and 37 minutes per day for men) and childcare (59 and 22 minutes respectively per day). See Table 10.1 for more detail.
In 2006, men and women born in Australia spent more time per day caring for children than those born overseas (see Table 11.10.2 Expanded content).
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