Balancing work and family commitments remains a critical challenge for many people but few public policies acknowledge the economic worth and time demands of carers.

In the latest of the ‘So What?’ lectures held by UNSW’s Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, internationally renowned expert in time-use research Professor Lyn Craig talks about modern workloads and time pressures, the involvement of the older generation in child care and the outlook for young people.

The work and family policy spotlight is usually on the paid workforce, says Professor Craig, who is the Director of the Social Policy Research Centre at UNSW.

“Less attention is paid to work done within the family, such as housework, child or elder care,” she says.

“Yet if we really want to understand people’s lives we have to take account of both. Otherwise, we end up with policies that don’t fit with how we actually live and work.”

They do most of the unpaid work on which our social system depends and they have lower lifetime earnings

Professor Craig says Australia’s superannuation system is just one example of poor policy because it was designed to reflect unbroken full-time work patterns.

“Most Australian women move in and out of the workforce over the course of their life,” says Professor Craig.

“They do most of the unpaid work on which our social system depends and they have lower lifetime earnings. But the government can provide less extensive care services. Is it too much to expect a retirement income policy that is designed for women too?”

Author, ABC TV journalist and popular political commentator Annabel Crabb will introduce the lecture, which will be held at the UNSW Kensington campus.

What: So, What? Lecture Series, Professor Lyn Craig: Bad Timing: Balancing work and family in the 24/7 economy

When:  30 March, 6pm – 7.30pm

Where: Tyree Room, John Niland Scientia Building, UNSW Kensington Campus

This lecture is now at capacity. To register for the wait list go here.

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