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Volunteering and the Work-Life Balance – Report


Monday, 20th May 2013 at 10:26 am
Staff Reporter
More than half of Australia’s population has worked without pay at some point in their lives, a recent study has revealed.

Monday, 20th May 2013
at 10:26 am
Staff Reporter


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Volunteering and the Work-Life Balance – Report
Monday, 20th May 2013 at 10:26 am

More than half of Australia’s population has worked without pay at some point in their lives, a recent study has revealed.

More than 30% of women and 25% of men reported undertaking some form of unpaid work, according to new research published by the Australian Institute of Family Studies during National Families Week.

?21% of women and 17% of men had volunteered through an organisation or group in the twelve months prior to Census night, while 11% of women and 5% of men had undertaken unpaid care of someone else’s children in the two weeks prior to the last Census night.

The Australian Institute of Family Studies’ report, Families working together: Getting the balance right, provides insight into how modern Australian families are balancing the competing demands of work, volunteering and family life.

The report shows that the balance of responsibilities between childcare and work commitments varies at different stages in life, with women more likely than men to work part-time while raising their children.

The research shows that mothers with young children under five spend an average of 14 hours a week in paid work, increasing to an average of 25 weeks when their children are older.

“Compared to fathers, mothers with young children (aged less than 5 years) in the home, spent less time in paid work/commuting (on average, 14 hours per week, compared to 46 hours for fathers), but more time on household work (averages of 32 hours and 15 hours per week respectively) and more time on childcare (41 hours and 17 hours per week respectively),” the report said.

The study also looked into time pressures on Australians and their work-life balance.

According to the study, 38% of women said they were almost always or often rushed or pressed for time, 43% said they sometimes were, and 18% said they rarely or never were rushed.

“For many people, a consequence of trying to balance the responsibilities of work, family and other activities is that they feel that they are often rushed or pressed for time,” the report said.

30% of men said they were almost always or often rushed or pressed for time, 45% said they sometimes were, and 25% said they rarely or never were rushed.
 



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One Comment

  • Ann Larson Ann Larson says:

    My comment isn’t so much about this article–busy people feel that they are busy, nothing remarkable in that. (I would have been interested to know more about volunteering rather than unpaid work.)
    My concern is with the use of ‘life cycle’. In today’s world where the average age at first birth is well over 30, where marriage is completely unrelated to child bearing, where work comes in a range of hours and contractual security and where carers are looking after people aged 0 to 100 I doubt most Australians neatly fit into the neat life cycle categories. It would be more illuminating to simply describe groups that are analytically discreet instead of implying the life cycle is biologically and socially predetermined.

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