The stability of a country’s economy depends largely on its workforce. Taking good care of them by giving them the benefits they deserve to get could mean, a healthy growth of the economy. Because once a person is given due credit for a job well done, in return, would certainly not hesitate to perform well in his or her given job.
Taking for instance the recent situation of the Australian Government in relation to its workforce.
It is a fact that Australia’s workforce is significantly dominated largely by part-time working parents, but there are growing concerns that more than 100,000 will have to get rid of their day jobs if the Abbott government will really push with suggested changes to its childcare subsidies.
At present, parents are able to access 24 hours of means tests Child Care Benefit per child per week, without having to meet a work or study test. On the other hand, for them to be able to access non-means tested Child Care Rebate, both partners are required to work or train “at the same time” during the week – but without a minimum number of hours requirement.
However, the government is currently taking into account recommendations made by the Productivity Commission which require parents to work for 24 hours for two weeks before they could access any childcare funding.
An early childhood advocacy organization in Australia, Early Childhood Australia has expressed concerns that, if the recommendations are implemented, for sure, some mothers would be in strife. At least 16.4 per cent of mothers – or approximately 100,000 women – work less than 24 hours a fortnight (two weeks) as the ease back into working life following childbirth.
Another concern is about the effect of such restrictions for those low-middle income families who are usually dependent on shift work or casual work where hours are much less predictable.
Samantha Page, Early Childhood Australia’s chief executive, in a statement expressed, “Many families are working less than 24 hours per fortnight so we need to be encouraging them to maintain workforce attachment, rather than putting up further or additional barriers.”
In resolution, Page has offered an alternative recommendation, in which all parents get up to two days a week of subsidized childcare per child, without having to meet a so-called “activity test”.
But, according to Page, in order for parents to access 50 hours of subsidy a week, both should need to work, train or study for 24 hours for two weeks.