Women work part time more

Almost half of female workers work part time compared with only 1 in 6 male workers1.

While many women choose to work part time because they like the flexibility to study or work in more than one job, many find it a necessity following the birth of a child. While this is generally a positive and happy time, it is also a period of significant change – both for their lifestyle and their income.

In January 2011, the Australian Government introduced a Paid Parental Leave (PPL) scheme for eligible working parents, providing an opportunity for families to take the time to care for their newborn child.

According to a report from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), since November of that year, 80% of women employed while pregnant had access to paid leave entitlements in their job and of those, 49% took a combination of paid and unpaid leave for the birth of their child2.

For most women, while there was some money coming in, there was also a loss of income in this period, particularly when you consider that the average length of leave a mother took for the birth of a child and the subsequent care was 32 weeks2.

According to that same ABS report,  following the birth of a child, 65% of women change to part time work, so they are not only losing income while on maternity leave, they are then dropping to a potentially lower salary when they do start working again.

While there is nothing wrong with working part time, the women who do will find they have a total lifetime income significantly lower than men, which in turn affects their potential to contribute to, and accumulate wealth. Ultimately, the flow-on effect of this is that they may have less independence and security.

It’s not all doom and gloom. The good news is, you’ve made the first step just by reading this and Freya Financial can provide you with the tools and advice you need to plan for the future.

To find out more on these topics, please click on the links below:

1. Council of Australian Governments (2013). Tracking Equity: Comparing outcomes for women and girls across Australia. Available at: images.smh.com.au
2. Australian Bureau of Statistics (2013). 4102.0 Australian Social Trends. Pregnancy and Work Transitions. Available at: www.abs.gov.au

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