Rising pressure on individuals and families to meet their caring needs is the “human face” of decline in workplace protections and bargaining power that has gathered pace since 2013. Meanwhile, the need for fathers and male spouses to take on more caring and household labour is routinely discussed in the public domain. But how have Australia’s work/care policies worked to support a redistribution of caring and household labour to males and fathers?
In this commentary, Centre for Future Work Economist Alison Pennington reports on a timely roundtable discussion held with work/care policy experts on Iceland’s “father’s quota” parental leave system, and the future for paid parental leave in Australia – co-hosted with the Nordic Policy Centre.
Research presented by leading Icelandic academic Dr. Ásdís Aðalbjörg Arnalds on the day shows that paid parental leave for both parents at wage replacement levels is key to building more equal workplaces, families and communities, and a modern dual work/care model.