The SDA is supporting the Australian Council of Trade Union’s (ACTU) test case in the Fair Work Commission for workers to have the right to reduce their hours during periods of significant parenting or caring responsibilities.
This would allow workers to go part-time or reduce their hours if they need to care for a loved one, such as a young child or an ill or ageing parent, with the security to return to full-time or to their previous hours.
IMPROVING PEOPLE'S LIVES
The SDA has a long history of advocating for better financial support for families and for more family-friendly work arrangements to assist workers in combining caring responsibilities and paid work.
This includes our campaigns for unpaid and paid parental leave, to stronger rights for pregnant employees at work.
Juggling work and family is becoming increasingly difficult for many SDA members, especially women, who face challenges when it comes to rostering, taking parental leave and returning to work after the birth of a child.
The SDA believes the right to reduce hours to care for a loved one is an important step in ensuring that workplace laws are fair and relevant for Australian workers and their families.
Unions, including the SDA, are campaigning to make a difference on this issue as the ACTU prepares to make its case in the Fair Work Commission in December this year.
MEMBERS' STORIES: HOW RETAIL WORKERS ARE LEFT WORSE OFF
REDUCED WAGES, DEMOTION, AND FEMALE MANAGERS FORCED TO RETURN TO WORK AS CASUALS:
“The only way I got my role back was to put my daughter into daycare for five days a week. I found it very un-family friendly. If I wanted to keep my role I had to put my employers first and my family second.”
REFUSING TO ALLOW EMPLOYEES TO RETURN TO THEIR PREVIOUS POSITION, OR THEIR PREVIOUSLY ROSTERED HOURS, EVEN IF THEY HAVE NOT REQUESTED ANY CHANGE:
“I was told I would have my job back when I returned from maternity leave, but it was no longer available, when I came back. The HR manager did not know anything about my previous work history and was going to place me in a relief team moving store to store, which was not suitable to my childcare needs at all. I ended up returning to a part-time position with a minimum 20 hours and was given as little as 8 hours some weeks.”
OFFERING ROSTERS WHICH ARE INCONSIDERATE TO FAMILY RESPONSIBILITIES AND UNREASONABLY REFUSING FLEXIBLE WORKING ARRANGEMENTS:
“I had to limit my availability for work because my husband and I both work – so I have to be home sometimes to look after my daughter. I was told by my employer that it was not fair on the other employees if I was only available on a small number of days and times, and that I had to work whenever they needed me. Nearly all the other employees either have school-aged children or are themselves just leaving school and are in between courses. Lots of them are only available when I am not, so it would be easy for my employer to roster them instead.”