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The statistics Hockey didn't mention - women

"The ABS statistics released today on working hours show women are losing out in our workplaces," said Senator Rachel Siewert today.

"More women than men are working multiple jobs. 58% of employees who work more than one job are women. This startling statistic is a consequence of government policies that have reduced many women to needing to take more than one part-time job to make ends meet," she said.

"The government's Welfare to Work regime forces single mothers to take any job they are offered, while changes to the Job, Employment and Training (JET) program effectively prevents these women from studying and therefore reduces opportunities for better work. As a result many women are being forced into low paid unskilled jobs."

"There isn't much flexibility in part-time work if the job is of such poor quality and low pay that you need to work multiple jobs to survive. Such working patterns also don't leave much time for family or friends."

"These ABS working hours statistics also show that the true meaning of the government's idea of 'flexibility' equals little or no control over your working life."

"How can employees plan their lives if they don't have a steady income, have no say in when they start or finish work or don't know when they are working from week to week or indeed day by day?," asked Senator Siewert.

"If we are serious about employees having a work/life balance we must start to address unreasonable working hours. Clearly, the current system is not working to provide reasonable and predictable working hours for many Australians. This is harmful for families and our community."

"The Greens, in contrast to the other parties, are prepared to regulate working hours in the interests of employees and their families," concluded Senator Siewert.

The ABS statistics show:

  • 60% of employees in Australia do not have any say in their start or finish times
  • 37% usually worked overtime;
  • 48% of those usually working overtime, usually worked unpaid extra hours only;
  • 23% had earnings which varied from one pay period to the next; and
  • 36% had hours that varied weekly or were required to be on call or standby.
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