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The aim of the Australian Work + Family Policy Roundtable is to propose, comment upon, collect and disseminate relevant policy research in order to inform good, evidence-based public policy in Australia.

In undertaking this task, the Roundtable is guided by the following principles:

  • People’s lives involve differing mixes of paid work and unpaid work as carers. The Roundtable is committed to promoting public policy initiatives that engage with and creatively manage the intersections between the spheres of paid work, workers’ responsibilities for the care of others, and community well-being.
  • We support and will work towards policies that improve the quality of life for working people and those they care for: to reduce the tensions for working people; increase the well-being of both carers and those who rely on their care; and ensure productive and sustainable workplaces and labour markets.
  • We recognise that the quality of Australian workplaces and employment practices affect family formation. To ensure workers have access to both quality of life and productive work, we will investigate employment practices that support family formation.
  • Women perform the majority of unpaid household and caring work. They also bear a disproportionate burden of the cost of work and family tension. Secure families and productive workplaces require that women and men are equally able to manage their work and caring responsibilities.
  • Wages, welfare and family policies should not discriminate on the basis of gender, and should recognise the particular disadvantages affecting women.
  • We recognise that an effective work and family regime should promote gender equality in the workplace and counter informal and formal modes of discrimination against women and carers.
  • An equitable work and care regime should be available to all Australians, not just the well off or those on higher incomes. This includes access to good quality and affordable childcare and elder care services.
  • The Roundtable will focus in particular on how policies affect low paid workers and those who are disadvantaged in the labour market or under welfare arrangements to ensure that policies enhance life chances and do not add to discrimination or other forms of disadvantage.
  • An effective work and family regime will promote social equity and enhance people’s capacities to be both good family members and productive workers.

Informed by these principles, the W+FPR will advance public debate and policy initiatives that promote a secure and living wage for workers; reasonable work hours and working time; appropriate and adequate leave provisions; quality caring services; a fair tax and benefits regime and other measures that assist workers and carers to better combine these two spheres of essential human activity.

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