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Catholic submission for work-family balance inquiry


The Catholic sector is preparing a submission to the Standing Committee on Family and Human Services Inquiry into balancing Work and family.

Catholic Women's Weekly - the weekly newsletter of the Commission for Australian Catholic Women - reports today that the combined Catholic submission is being prepared under the auspices of Catholic Welfare Australia.

The Inquiry was announced earlier this month by the Chairman of the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Family & Human Services, Bronwyn Bishop.

Mrs Bishop said that the public inquiry would examine a range of issues relevant to many Australians and the choices they make in relation to having children and raising families.

"Australia's fertility rate is currently at 1.7 births per couple which is below that required to replace our population. This has been a major contributing factor to an ageing Australia and one that will see our population shrink over time", Mrs Bishop said.

The Inquiry media release stated that many Australian parents are faced with financial and other family and social difficulties when attempting to return to the paid workforce.

"In Australia, only 43% of women with two or more children are in the workforce, compared with 82% in Sweden and 62% in the UK. This illustrates a need for enhanced family-friendly policies and workplace arrangements."

The terms of reference are:
The financial, career and social disincentives to starting families;
Making it easier for parents who so wish to return to the paid workforce; and
The impact of taxation and other matters on families in the choices they make in balancing work and family life.

The Commission for Australian Catholic Women is seeking contributions to the submission, which it will forward to Catholic Welfare Australia. The submissions must be received by this Wednesday, 16th March.

SOURCE
A Word from the Commission (Catholic Women's Weekly 14/3/05)
Bishop Launches New Inquiry into Balancing Work & Family (Standing Committee on Family and Human Services 2/3/05)

LINKS (not endorsed by Church Resources)
Commission for Australian Catholic Women
Inquiry into Balancing Work and Family (House of Representatives Standing Committee on Family and Human Services)


14 Mar 2005