The True Costs of Working Full Time

Recent research, commissioned by Goodstart Learning and completed by Australian National University (ANU) has found that full-time working mothers are working for as little as $5 an hour, once they’ve paid tax and childcare fees. This equated to around two thirds of her gross income.

The ANU calculated that a woman earning an average income would earn less, the more she worked. Calculations showed that on her first day of work she would earn $22.39 an hour, on day two it would go down to $13.83 and hour and by the fifth day of work she would be earning approximately $5.08 an hour.

Researcher, Ben Philipps noted that women on low incomes were most disadvantaged as they would actually be losing money by the fifth day. Lower incomes were hardest hit because the cost childcare fees and tax was compounded by the loss in family payments.

Many women felt they were forced into to part-time work because it just wasn’t financially viable for them to work full time. This in turn created anxiety around the career limitations that women experienced due to working part-time.

Those who did not have the option of working part-time (due to the industry they worked in) faced the added disadvantage of high levels of stress. Research done by Professor Lyn Craig at the University of Western Sydney, found that women who worked full-time we stressed for 90 percent of their time.

Women felt guilty about not spending enough time with their children, they worried about the pressure on the family unit that working working full time created, were exhausted by life’s demands and the lack of support from employers.

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