Mums with full-time jobs are earning as little as $5 an hour after shelling out on tax and childcare fees, it has been revealed.
A study conducted by The Australian National University for Early Childhood Australia shows a working mum can earn as little as $5 an hour after paying tax and childcare fees.
The hourly rate for women on average incomes might start at $22.39 an hour on the first day, but it quickly drops to as little as $5.08 once the government and childcare centres take their share, according to calculations by ANU Centre for Social Research and Methods.
And it’s women on lower wages that are the hardest hit, according to researcher Ben Phillips,
“We found for a low-income case where a woman was earning only around $43,000 per year, when you include her husband’s wage you’ll also find she’s going backwards financially on the fifth day,” he tells the ABC.
“What drives that is you’ve got say childcare costs of around $9 an hour or around say $90 a day, she’s paying tax at around 32 cents in the dollar for around $43,000 a year, she’s losing family payments.
“So she’s actually losing money by turning up for work.”
The cost of childcare is making the choice for parents “very difficult”, advocacy group The Parenthood executive director Jo Brisley tells the ABC.
“[Mums] go ‘What is the point of going back to work when it costs so much in childcare costs that I am left with earning $5 to $6 an hour and in some cases it’s actually costing me to go back to work?’,” she says.
“Our politicians keep telling us that they are committed to jobs and growing our economy, but where is the evidence of that?,” Ms Brisley says.
“When half of the potential workforce is held back by the prohibitive cost of childcare, reforms should be on top of the election agenda.”