Our Plan

Issue 15

Supporting Australian Women

MORE JOBS AND OPPORTUNITIES

After five years of Liberal and Nationals Government, there are over 1.2 million more Australians in jobs.

Approximately 56% of these new jobs have been taken up by women.

There are now over 5.9 million women in employment – and the highest female participation rate on record (60.5%).

The gender pay gap is also moving in the right direction, down to a record low of 14.5%.

Despite this progress, some challenges remain.

  • There are still around two million working age women not in the labour force – a big pool of untapped talent and experience.
  • Women are still likely to earn less than men and twice as likely to work part-time as men.
  • At retirement age there is a 42 per cent gap in their superannuation balances.

The new Child Care Subsidy is making childcare more accessible and affordable for around one million parents.

The government’s paid parental leave scheme is being made more flexible, giving parents more choices in their work and family life.

Our recent Women’s Economic Security Package includes a number of additional measures to improve the economic security of women.

ACCESSIBLE, AFFORDABLE CHILD CARE

Our new Child Care Subsidy is making child care more accessible and affordable.

This is a once in a generation, $2.5 billion investment by the Liberal and Nationals Government.

The Child Care Subsidy assists more than 1 million families to balance work and parenting responsibilities.

On average, families who use child care will be over $1,300 better off per child per year.

Some examples of typical families who are better off with the new Subsidy include:

  • A family on $50,000 - both parents or a single parent working, with two children under 6 in long day care three days a week at $100 a day - will be more than $3,000 a year better off.
  • A family on $80,000 - both parents or a single parent working full time, with two children under 6 in long day care five days a week at $100 a day - will be over $8,000 a year better off.
  • A family on $94,000 - both parents or a single parent working, with two children under 6 in long day care two days a week at $100 a day - will be around $1,500 a year better off.
  • A family on $150,000 - both parents or a single parent working, with two children under 6 in long day care three days a week at $100 a day - will be around $1,000 a year better off.

Families earning up to $186,958 will no longer be limited in the amount of subsidised child care they can access. This benefits around 85% of families using child care.

Families earning between $186,958 and $351,248 will also benefit from an increased annual rebate cap of $10,190 per child per year.

Low income families earning $66,958 or less who do not meet the activity test have access to 24 hours of subsidised care per child per fortnight.

Families can see how they will benefit at www.education.gov.au/eccc

MORE FLEXIBLE PARENTAL LEAVE

The Government will enable parents more flexibility in accessing Government-funded Parental Leave Pay.

For the first time families will be able to split their Government funded Parental Leave Pay into blocks of leave, allowing them to work in between.

This will make returning to work much more flexible.

We are also extending the work test rules so more women are eligible for Government funded Parental Leave Pay.

This includes women who work in irregular jobs, such as relief teachers, or women in hazardous jobs who have little choice but to leave their job early.

GREATER ECONOMIC SECURITY FOR WOMEN

The Government’s recent Women’s Economic Security Statement contains a number of further practical measures to help boost women’s participation in the workforce and increase their earning potential and their economic independence.

HELPING WOMEN BE WORK READY

A new program called ParentsNext is supporting vulnerable parents (mostly women) to break the welfare cycle and get into paid work.

The new Launch into Work program will assist more women be work-ready by increasing skills, experience and confidence to overcome the barriers to training and employment.

We’ll continue to fund the Women’s Money Toolkit, a free online resource with practical tools that teaches women how to better manage their finances.

WOMEN’S SAFETY

The Liberal and Nationals Government is determined to keep women and children in Australia safe at home, safe on the streets and safe online.

Since 2015, we have invested well over $300 million on programs that directly support women and children who are victims of, or at risk of, domestic violence.

With this investment we are: improving frontline services; improving the legal system; ensuring better, safer use of technology; and driving cultural change.

  • We are improving frontline services, with new funding to train police, health workers and other frontline service providers to recognise signs of domestic violence and respond appropriately.
  • More funding for specialist domestic violence units will provide essential services for women and children escaping domestic violence.
  • Our new $7.8 billion National Housing and Homelessness Agreement with the states and territories also means priority services will be provided to women and children experiencing family and domestic violence, as well as young homeless people.
  • We’re improving the legal system, by: amending the Family Law Act, to ban direct cross-examination in family law proceedings where there are allegations of violence; funding additional family consultants to assist in the early management of family law cases; and new funding for Community Legal Centres.
  • A national Domestic Violence Order scheme now means DVOs issued in one state will be recognised in all others.
  • We are making better use of technology. For example, in some cases funding is going towards installing CCTV cameras for at risk women who need additional safety in their homes. In partnership with Telstra, we’re providing safe phones for women at risk of violence.
  • A number of states now have GPS tracking for charged sex offenders.We are working with states who want to extend this to domestic violence perpetrators.
  • To tackle online abuse, we have established a national system for online complaints and expanded the role of the e-Safety Commissioner. This office now takes responsibility for online safety issues affecting adults, not just children.
  • To help drive cultural change, a $30 million national campaign to change young people’s attitudes to women and violence. The first phase of the Stop it at the Start campaign was viewed more than 43 million times online.

The Government has introduced legislation for 5 days unpaid family and domestic violence leave per year for 6 million employees covered by the Fair Work Act.

This follows a decision of the independent Fair Work Commission to provide this for about 2.3 million people on modern awards.

Information current as at December 2018