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Greens push for a family friendly economy

The Greens say they will work to increase the family friendliness of the country’s workplaces and provide flexible and considerate working arrangements to employees, correcting an imbalance which sees a lower workforce participation rate among women and older Australians.

Senator Rachel Siewert, Australian Greens spokesperson for Employment and Workplace Relations says the Greens campaigned strongly for increased workplace flexibility during the negotiations which helped kill off Work Choices, securing the right to request flexible working hours for parents and carers of children with a disability under the age of 18.

“Women are already underrepresented in Australian workplaces; we need our skilled and educated women in the workforce but in a way which is ultimately beneficial for themselves and their families,” Senator Rachel Siewert said today.

“In too many instances women are forced to choose between a job and their families,” Senator Siewert said.

“It is essential that as Australia’s population grows and ages, employers are able to offer working conditions which make it possible for people to have happy and healthy lives both at home and at work.

“A truly ‘strong’ economy must be built around the workers which drive it, and must provide them with the conditions, flexibility and consideration necessary for them to live their lives.

“During the Fair Work debate I proposed amendments which extended the right to request flexible working arrangements for all carers, but both the Government and opposition were against this move,” said Senator Siewert.

“By supporting businesses and employers, governments can offer support and incentives so they are not financially worse-off for providing this workplace flexibility, we just need a government with the requite foresight to make this a reality.

 “The Greens have a proven track record when it comes to campaigning against unreasonable work hours and un-family friendly work places.

“During the Fair Work debate, we lobbied for increase flexibility in Australian workplaces to allow parents to make specific requests to meet their own circumstances, and this will be central to our approach to work place relations,” Senator Siewert concluded.

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