The Guardian • Issue #2088


  • The Guardian
  • Issue #2088

Unpaid overtime isn’t going away any time soon. Health and care service workers do an average 28 hours unpaid care work at home and live with significant impacts to their mental and physical health, according to a new report that highlights the need for action on unpaid work.

HESTA, the industry superannuation fund for health and community services, surveyed members who give unpaid care outside of their paid jobs. The survey found that additional unpaid care commitments restrict the hours workers can dedicate to paid employment.

The survey of workers in critical care sectors, including childcare, aged care, nursing, and community health, highlights the need for the Albanese government to comprehensively account for unpaid work as part of its new time use survey strategy.

According to the McKell Institute, countries such as Finland measure unpaid work and have built efficient and targeted social policies around time use. This offers lessons to Australia in how to support people whose own unpaid caring saves the public health system, but at the expense of their own well-being and retirement incomes.

Construction and real estate giant Lendlease has been given a $260 million tax bill with added penalties and interest on late payment after an audit of a tax scheme whereby the company “double dipped” on its tax deductions for six years. Shareholders are ropeable, but naturally the executives who operated the scheme have long since gone on to other corporate gigs.

David McBride exposed Australian war crimes in Afghanistan, leaking classified documents to the ABC to do so. If the government does nothing about it, he will be rewarded with jail. Nothing is what PM Anthony Albanese has done. So it looks like McBride will be spending time in jail. Senator Rex Patrick has called our PM “un-Labor” for doing nothing while McBride is punished. He says Albanese is “happy to send the message that should the public blow the whistle on illegal and immoral conduct, you will feel the full force of government upon you.” Sounds pretty Labor to us.

Parasite of the week: David Littleproud, National Party leader. Littleproud is getting some attention and affection from centre-right media for having a road to Damascus moment on rooftop solar. He’s for it.  Littleproud supports solar power for the battlers the National Party pretends to care about – anybody with a roof. Hooray for the battlers’ friend. Littleproud has added that rooftop solar will have to be backed up by nuclear power – the Nationals favourite delaying tactic – “which has no emissions.” Nuclear has massive emissions when it’s being built and colossal risks when operating. It would cost billions. The question a compliant media isn’t asking the Nationals leader is this: who do you want to tax to pay for nuclear?

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