Publications

AIFS produces a number of publications relating to our research throughout the year. These include research papers and reports, facts sheets, commissioned reports and submissions. We also publish our peer-reviewed journal Family Matters twice a year and prepared reports for Closing the Gap.

All publications are also listed in our library catalogue.

See also publications from  Growing Up in Australia .

The role of planning, support, and maternal and infant factors in women's return to work after maternity leave

Melissa Coulson, Helen Skouteris and Cheryl Dissanayake
Family Matters No. 90, 2012

Workforce participation by mothers of young children is not a new phenomenon; however, few studies have examined factors associated with returning to work after maternity leave, particularly in the Australian context. This study followed 186 pregnant Australian women who intended to return to work within 12 months post-partum, from late in pregnancy until they had returned to work, or their child was 13 months old.

Maternity leave and reduced future earning capacity

David Baker
Family Matters No. 89, 2011

In 2011 the Paid Parental Leave Act 2010 was enacted in Australia. This new scheme provides 18 weeks of paid leave at the minimum wage to most Australian workers who, since the beginning of 2011 have had a child. The public funding of this leave addresses the previous disparity that saw only four out of ten women of child-bearing age having access to paid maternity leave. While welcome, this payment will not address the longer term wage penalty experienced by women who take leave around childbirth.

Breastfeeding, employment and leave: An analysis of mothers in Growing Up in Australia

Family Matters No. 80, 2008

This article explores the relationship between breastfeeding and employment. A focus is given to the fact that some women do manage to combine employment and breastfeeding—a return to work does not always result in a stop to breastfeeding. The analyses explore which job characteristics are associated with a higher likelihood of continuing to breastfeed, looking at hours of work, flexibility of hours, whether self–employed and occupation group. The paper also compares the breastfeeding rates of women on leave with other women who are back at work, and those not working but not on leave.

Matching work and family commitments: Australian outcomes in a comparative perspective

Willem Adema and Peter Whiteford
Family Matters No. 80, 2008

This article summarises the main conclusions of the synthesis report of the OECD’s 2002–07 Babies and Bosses series, and also highlights how Australia compares with other OECD countries in terms of family policies and their outcomes. The report found that if parents have to choose between earning money and looking after their children, the result is that there would be too few babies and too little employment. Australia scores well in family spending and has a redistributive tax/benefit system, but its focus is largely on cash transfers rather than child and out-of-school-hours care.

Mothers' employment transitions following childbirth

Family Matters No. 71, 2005

The age of the youngest child is an important determinant of the probability of mothers being employed. The relationship between childbearing and employment recognises transitions out of and into work following childbirth, with some women continuing to work through their childbearing years and others taking a break from paid work. Of those women who take a break from work, some return to work faster than others.

Opinion/Comment: Fertility rates, women in the workforce, and economic health

Peter McDonald, Catherine Hakim and Keri Phillips
Family Matters No. 63, 2002

This article is an edited version of Australian Broadcasting Commission's The Europeans program which was aired on radio in September 2002. The presenter of the program spoke with Peter McDonald, a demographer from the Australian National University and Catherine Hakim, a sociologist at the London School of Economics, and looked at the connection between fertility rates, women in the workforce and economic health. McDonald fears that countries with a low fertility rate, where couples are effectively having only one child, will face a desperate shortage of workers in 30 or 40 years' time.

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