width=260New analysis from the Australian Bureau of Statistics shows how family life is changing in Australia and how pushed many working parents are time, according to a leading work-life expert.
Commenting on the ABS's latest Australian Social Trends released today, Professor Barbara Pocock from UniSA's Centre for Work + Life said working families were feeling the pressure, along with many workers without children.
We can see from this latest ABS analysis how rapid change is underway in the shape of working families in Australia, Prof Pocock said.
The male breadwinner household is now outnumbered two to one by the dual earner household. There has also been strong growth in sole parent-worker households.
But it is not just the growth in working parent households that is striking. Changes in working time are also remarkable, with more than half of parents of children under 15 living in couple households putting in extra hours at work - most of these extra hours unpaid.
The move away from a 'standard working week' is continuing apace in many working households. At the same time a surprising number of working parents do not know whether they are entitled to things like paid carers' leave. Unfortunately many working single mothers are missing out on conditions like paid carers' leave and other rights - and they are the ones who especially need such conditions.
The feelings of time pressure that are well known to many working parents are validated in this analysis, says Prof Pocock.
One or both parents felt often or always rushed or pressed for time in 82% of couple families with children where both are working.
But time pressures are not confined to parents of children under 15: 67% of one or both workers in couple households without children felt rushed and pressed for time often or always.
These findings show how the world of home and of work is changing, and how we need to make sure our workplaces, managers, childcare system and employment law keep up, Prof Pocock said. And these results suggest that we need to pay particular attention to single mothers and their situations.
The ABS analysis is included in Australian Social Trends 4102.0 September 2009, released today. For further information about work and time pressures also look at: 'AWALI 2009 - Work, Life & Workplace Flexibility' at http://www.unisa.edu.au/hawkeinstitute/cwl/default.asp