Carers

12 November 2018

Senator GRIFF (South Australia) (16:13): I move:

That the Senate—

(a) acknowledges that:

(i) 14 October to 20 October 2018, was National Carers Week,

(ii) Carers Australia values the work done by unpaid carers at an estimated $60 billion a year,

(iii) women make up the majority of carers—women represent 68% of primary carers for elderly people and those with a disability, and 55.5% of all carers, according to the ABS' Disability, Ageing and Carers survey,

(iv) the labour force participation rate for primary carers was 56% compared to non-carers at 80%, and 73% of males who were carers were employed compared with 60.8% of females,

(v) according to Carers' Australia's report, The Benefit of Carers to the Economy, about 4% of employees become carers each year, and the probability of a new carer leaving the workforce is 8% – about 26% of primary carers reduce their work hours after taking on a caring role,

(vi) the 2017 Hilda survey showed Australian women retire with just over half the amount of superannuation as men, or an average of $230,907, and one in three women retire with no superannuation at all,

(vii) one of the reasons women retire with less superannuation is because of the extended periods of time they spend out of the workforce to care for children or elderly parents – as a result of their lower retirement savings, they are more likely to rely on the aged pension, and

(viii) in 2016, the report of the Economics References Committee on the gender retirement income gap, recommended that superannuation be paid on the Commonwealth Paid Parental Leave Scheme; and

(b) calls on the Federal Government to:

(i) model the costs and benefits of providing the superannuation guarantee to carers on the Carer Payment or other carer-related benefits, including the Commonwealth Paid Parental Leave Scheme, and

(ii) seriously consider providing the superannuation guarantee to carers on the Carer Payment or other benefit they are paid as a result of their caring responsibilities.

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