COVID-19 continuing to impact workers and families

Media Release
Released
13/10/2020

Around one in three Australians with a job (31 per cent) worked from home most days in September compared with 12 per cent before COVID-19 restrictions started in March, according to the latest data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

ABS Head of Household Surveys, Michelle Marquardt, said the latest Household Impacts of COVID-19 Survey showed people in Victoria (43 per cent) and New South Wales (32 per cent) were more likely to work from home than those in the rest of Australia (22 per cent).

“The latest data highlight the continued impact that COVID-19 and the related restrictions are having on Australians and their families,” Ms Marquardt said.

“More than one in three Australians in households with children attending school or care (35 per cent) said that they had kept their children home due to COVID-19 in the month leading up to the survey, which was carried out in mid-September.

“Almost half of these children were kept home due to illness (48 per cent) and half due to school closures (48 per cent). This, in turn, impacted people’s work requiring arrangements such as work from home to care for children, changing or reducing hours and/or taking leave from work.

“We also found that 18 per cent of people with a job did not have enough paid sick leave to take two weeks leave, while 33 per cent had no access to paid sick leave.”

The survey also provided insights into Australians’ financial circumstances.

In the four weeks leading up to the survey, around seven in ten Australians (72 per cent) reported their household finances remained unchanged, one in six (16 per cent) felt they had worsened and one in eight (12 per cent) felt they had improved.

“Circumstances were different for some households, with more than one in five (21 per cent) of households with children reporting their household finances had worsened in the four weeks leading up to the survey, compared to 14 per cent of lone person households and those without children,” Ms Marquardt said.

The ABS would like to thank those Australian households that contributed to these survey results.

Media Notes

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