Balancing work and family life during the COVID-19 pandemic: who fared better and worse?
People with care responsibilities for other family members, such as ageing relatives, relatives with a disability or chronic illness, or grandchildren, have been much less studied during the recent pandemic. This report aims to fill this gap in research by exploring the circumstances of mature...
Flexible working in the Australian Capital Territory Public Service (ACTPS)
This research was conducted to help identify how the Australian Capital Territory Public Service (ACTPS) can better support effective flexible working, focused on the role of technology, communication tools and the built environment.
E-change and remote work in Australia
This report is about ‘e-changers’ - a significant and growing segment of the population who have chosen to move from the city to regional and coastal areas while maintaining their city jobs.
Challenges of work, family and care for Australia’s retail, online retail, warehousing and fast food workers
This report provides information about the work, family and care arrangements of employees in Australia’s retail, fast food and warehousing industries.
Key working from home trends emerging from COVID-19
This report for the Australian Fair Work Commission identifies important work from home (WFH) trends emerging in Australia in 2020 as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
How we worked
Many changes have occurred in Australia since the establishment of the Australian Institute of Family Studies in 1980. This snapshot outlines some of the changes over the last four decades in when, how and where we work.
Excessive hours and unpaid overtime: 2019 update
This updated research looks at the cumulative costs of unpaid overtime in Australia's economy. Survey data suggests the average Australian worker puts in almost 5 hours per week of unpaid overtime: coming in early, staying late, working through lunch and breaks and taking work home.
Conflicts between work and family and fathers’ mental health
Fathers today are often expected to fulfil the traditional role of 'breadwinner' while taking a more active role in child care. These competing demands can create work–family conflicts. Using data from the Growing Up in Australia longitudinal study, this research explored these conflicts and any...
Fathers' work and family conflicts and the outcomes for children's mental health
Fathers’ experiences of competing demands in parenting and work domains suggest that increasing work–family conflicts are an issue for many families.
Understanding work in schools
While most people expect to work a 38-hour full-time week, our public school teachers are working far more. In fact, teachers are working an average of 54 hours per week (43 hours at school and 11 hours at home), due to the increasing administrative demands...
Stay-at-home fathers in Australia
Around 80,000 Australian families now have a stay-at-home dad at the helm, according to this research released by the Australian Institute of Family Studies.
Challenging gender stereotypes in the early years: the power of parents
This paper provides an overview of survey findings and discusses the key results within the context of international literature on early childhood, gender and development, and parenting.
Implications of work time flexibility for health promoting behaviours
This article reviews evidence regarding the influence of flexible work time on health behaviour and outcomes as relevant to Australia and New Zealand.
Working time patterns for sustainable work
Working time is a recurrent topic of study because the nature of work, its content, the conditions under which it is performed and the labour market itself keep changing. This report provides an overview of the recent evolution of working time duration and organisation in...
Parenting today in Victoria: technical report - May 2017
This report sets out the background, methodology and findings from the 2016 administration of the Parenting Today in Victoria survey involving 2600 parents of children aged zero through 18 years, residing in the state of Victoria.
nbn S-ME time
This research shows Australian business owners are embracing access to fast broadband and cloud applications to help them save time and achieve a better work-life balance.
Can less work be more fair?
This paper is a collection of contributions from leading academics and social justice campaigners providing different perspectives on the ideas of shorter working hours and Universal Basic Income.
Is the 'great Aussie holiday' disappearing?
Short commentary article summarizing findings and policy implications of a research paper on threats to access to, and utilisation of, paid holiday leave in Australian employment. Written by Troy Henderson and Jim Stanford, and published by the Centre for Future Work at the Australia Institute.
Flexible child care and Australian parents’ work and care decision-making
Summary: It is commonly stated that there is a need for flexible child care to be available to parents especially for those who work variable or non-standard hours, given the 24/7 nature of today's labour market. But Australian and international research shows that parents' decision-making...
Mental health and productivity at work: does what you do matter?
Analyses the links between mental health and two alternative workplace productivity measures– absenteeism and presenteeism. Abstract Much of the economic cost of mental illness stems from workers’ reduced productivity. We analyze the links between mental health and two alternative workplace productivity measures – absenteeism and...
Flexible child care: key findings from the AIFS evaluation of the Child Care Flexibility Trials
This paper provides a summary of the key findings from this evaluation into meeting the needs of parents who work non-standard or variable work hours and who may have difficulties finding child care that supports such work hours. The evaluation was based on interviews with...
Working-time mismatch and mental health
Results of this report suggest that over employment has adverse consequences. Abstract Nationally representative panel survey data for Australia and Germany are used to investigate the impact of working-time mismatches (i.e., differences between actual and desired work hours) on mental health, as measured by the...
The power of flexibility: a key enabler to boost gender parity and employee engagement
The Power of Flexibility is the fifth in a series of landmark gender parity surveys by global management consulting firm Bain & Company and Chief Executive Women, Australia’s pre-eminent organisation of 360–senior women leaders.
The importance of penalty rates to our health workforce
Following on from the McKell Institute’s report on the economic impact of penalty rate cuts in Australia’s retail and hospitality industries, this report looks at the economic and health impacts of cutting penalty rates for nurses, midwives and aged care workers. This report highlights the...
Beyond the work family balance
Jennifer Nedelsky calls for deliberation on her proposal to completely rebalance the challenges of employment, life, family and care. Her idea; that everybody (and she does mean everybody) engage in both paid part-time work and unpaid part-time care. In this talk she argues that the...