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Working from home in a share house – tips

Living in a shared house while working or studying from home during the SA lockdown can be a tricky situation. This factsheet provides general tips on working and studying from home, dealing with roommates, and lease issues during this difficult time. 

Working and studying from home 

A share house is usually far from the ideal working environment; share houses can be crowded and often lack workspaces, proper heating and adequate internet. The following tips can help you to navigate the situation: 

  • Try to find a dedicated workspace that is separated from leisure spaces if possible. Speak with your housemates about how everyone wants to use the shared spaces.  
  • Use a supportive chair and prop up your computer so that it is at eye level.  
  • Staying active is especially important when you don’t have an ideal office setup, so try to find ways to move more throughout the day. Take lots of breaks, including breaks from screen time.  
  • Create boundaries with work and study responsibilities – many women find that their workloads have increased during the pandemic, in part due to working from home. Create a routine in which you start and finish work or study the same time every day.  
  • Remember to be kind to yourself – share houses are not designed with home offices, and there will be interruptions. It’s okay to achieve less than you normally would.  
  • Maintain social chats with colleagues or classmates online. 
  • Check whether you are entitled to reimbursement for working from home expenses, such as internet, computer accessories or stationary. Check your employment contract and Enterprise Agreement / Award. If you are unsure, you can contact the Working Women’s Centre for assistance. 

Note: some of these tips are based on the SA Health Working from Home fact sheet. 

Getting along with housemates  

Your housemates are not always the people you would choose to spend every hour of every day with. Lockdowns are stressful and can bring out conflict and frustration.  

There are some steps you can take to create a positive dynamic in a share house: 

  • Ask your housemates what they need during this time, and share what you need from them. For example, some people may want to spend a lot of time together to avoid feelings of isolation, others may need more personal space and alone time. Communicating needs and issues proactively can help to avoid tension and hurt.  
  • Be kind to each other, at a time when reactions might be heightened by anxiety and stress. Focus on creating an atmosphere of acceptance and tolerance. 
  • Keep the house clean and tidy 
  • If conflicts come up, focus on the issue, instead of the person. Avoid blaming others and do your best to work together to find a solution.  

Note: Some of these tips are based on Housing & Residential education website. 

Staying safe 

COVID-19 precautions 

  • Have a conversation with your housemates about the COVID-19 precautions you expect from each other.  
  • If you, or any of your housemates are particularly vulnerable to COVID-19, it is important to do everything you can to keep everyone safe.  
  • If anyone in your house needs to self-isolate or quarantine, follow the SA Health requirements and recommendations and call the COVID-19 Information Line for advice on 1800 253 787. 

Mental health  

  • Look after each other’s mental health. Check in regularly with your roommates and don’t be afraid to ask for help from them when you need. Asking “are you OK” and sharing a cuppa can go a long way.  
  • Seek support from mental health services such as Beyond Blue, or contact the SA Mental Health Triage Service on 13 14 65 for urgent support.  

Fear of violence 

  • If a housemate makes you feel unsafe, you are allowed to leave your home to protect your safety during a lockdown.  
  • Call 000 if you are in immediate danger.  
  • Other support services for an emergency include Homeless Connect SA on 1800 003 308 and the DV Crisis Line on 1800 800 098.   

Rental issues  

Inconveniently, issues to do with your lease, or other rental issues can still arise during a lockdown.  

If you have questions with regards to renting, be aware that:  

  • There are some extra measures in place to protect renters in relation to COVID-19, including a moratorium on evictions and protection for tenants who breach their agreement to comply with COVID-19 restrictions. The SA Customer and Business Services website listed some of the common situations arising COVID-19 and general advice for landlords and tenants.  
  • According to current activity restrictions, on-site open inspections and auctions are banned in SA. If your landlord or real estate agency insists to take people in to inspect the property, you have the right to report them to the police. 
  • If your lease is due to end during the lockdown, you can still move house as long as the move date was set before lockdown started.  
  • To access advice on your rights as a renter, you can contact RentRight SA at 1800 060 462. 

Note: Some of these tips are based on the SA Customer and Business Services website and RentRight SA website. 

 

Further resources: 

 

 

SA lockdown financial relief

Fact sheet for workers

Thousands of workers have had to stop working due to the South Australian lockdown. If you have lost income, there are a few different types of financial relief available for workers. We have compiled the different payments available in one place.  

Updated on 26 July 2021 

Disclaimer: Please note that this is general information and should not be taken as legal or financial advice. We will do our best to keep this up to date, but if you believe there is something missing from this list, please contact reception@wwc.org.au  

Paid Leave options 

Before looking for financial relief, you should check to see whether you have any Paid Leave options available that apply to this situation. Look at your employment contract and/or your Award or Enterprise Agreement to see what you may be entitled to. Leave entitlements vary between employers and industries. If you are a full time or part time worker, you may consider taking Annual Leave. Some employers may have special paid COVID-19 leave. Depending on the type of work you do, you could also ask to work from home for the period of the lockdown.

If you aren’t sure what your options are, get in touch with your union or the Working Women’s Centre for advice.

Government COVID-19 payments 

COVID-19 Disaster Payment 

This is a payment for workers impacted by the lockdown. If you live in or have visited a Commonwealth-declared COVID-19 hotspot, which includes the Adelaide Metropolitan area, you may be eligible for this payment. The South Australian government has also extended this payment to workers in regional SA.  

  • The payment is for workers who have lost income and do not have pandemic related paid leave entitlements (this includes pandemic payments provided by the state, and the Pandemic Leave Disaster Payment). 
  • To receive this payment, you must be 17 or older and be either an Australian resident or have a visa which enables you to legally work in Australia. 
  • The payment amount is either $325 per week or $600 per week, depending on how many hours of work you lost per week. 
  • You can make an application starting from the 28th of July.  
Pandemic Leave Disaster Payment 

You may be eligible to receive this payment if you are unable to work due to:

  • having to isolate or quarantine because of either having COVID-19 or being a close contact of someone who does, or 
  • having to care for someone who has COVID-19 

To receive this payment you must be 17 or older, and an Australian resident or a temporary visa holder who is legally able to work in Australia. 

The payment amount is $1500 for every 14-day period of meeting the above eligibility criteria. Applications can be made over the phone.

SA COVID-19 cluster isolation payment

This payment is for workers who have visited a declared exposure site and are required to self-isolate, and don’t have access to paid leave or income support. It is a once-off payment of $300, and you can find further information about eligibility and apply via an online form. Australian residents and temporary visa holders, including international students, can access this payment.

Crisis Payment for National Health Emergency (COVID-19) 

This is a one-off payment that can be received if you have to quarantine or self-isolate, or are caring for someone who has to do so, but it cannot be claimed if you are simply in lockdown. 

You may be eligible for this payment if you are in severe financial hardship and are eligible to receive an income support payment or ABSTUDY Living Allowance. Further information here

SA COVID-19 Business Support Grant  

This $1000 grant is available for people working as sole traders who have been impacted by the lockdown. Only businesses with an annual turnover of $75,000 or more are eligible. See further eligibility requirements

Other government payments 

There are government income support payments (Centrelink payments) that might apply to your situation.  

Payments include:  

  • JobSeeker – if you are unemployed and looking for work, or sick/injured and not able to perform your work/study for a short period of time 
  • Youth Allowance – if you are 24 years old or younger and a full-time student or Apprentice, or 21 years old or younger and looking for work or unable to work for a short period of time 
  • Parenting Payment – if you are the principal carer of a child, depending on the circumstances 

Payment amounts will depend on personal circumstances. Please go to Services Australia to find the different payments available, and full eligibility criteria. The Uniting Communities Law Centre can provide advice about eligibility for different Centrelink payments.  

Non-government assistance 

Emergency Financial Assistance

There are a number of organisations which may be able to assist with emergency financial assistance. You can find a list on the South Australian government website.

Flinders University FUSA Grants  

If you are a student at Flinders University in your second or later year of study and you are experiencing financial hardship, you might be eligible for a grant of $500. Grant applications will be open from the 26th of July 2021 to the 13th of August 2021.  

Uni SA USASA Financial Counselling 

If you are a student at University of South Australia, you can contact USASA to access free financial counselling services and get personalised financial advice. If you require urgent assistance, USASA may be able to assist you with accessing emergency food/financial support through the service. 

The Scarlet Alliance Emergency Relief Fund  

If you are a sex worker who has been impacted by the lockdown, you may be able to access the Scarlett Alliance Emergency Relief Fund. Applications will be open to sex workers in South Australia on the 27th of July and applications are available in English, Chinese, Thai and Korean.  

Covid-19 Emergency Assistance Initiative

This emergency quick response grant through the Performers Support Fund of South Australia is offering food and fuel vouchers of up to $200 to actors and entertainment professionals who are experiencing financial hardship during Covid-19 in SA. You can fill in the application form online.

Red Cross Emergency relief support for people on temporary visas (Temporarily closed) 

Due to a high number of applications, Red Cross is not accepting any new applications currently. Please keep an eye on their website for potential updates.  

Mutual Aid efforts  

In a crisis, often communities spring to action to support each other. The Facebook group ‘Love your neighbour South Australia’ is a place where you can put in a request for assistance, such as in-kind support of food or supplies, from members of the community.  

Other supports and services

Working through the lockdown

Information for supermarket workers and other essential workers

Does my employer have to take COVID-19 precautions?   

COVID-19 is a safety risk for essential workers who are working during the lockdown. Your employer must ensure that you and others are safe. They must do what is ‘reasonably practicable’ to minimise the risk of catching or spreading COVID-19.  

Managing the COVID-19 risk will look different for each workplace. For supermarkets and similar services, it is reasonable to expect your employer to be doing the following:  

  • Providing accessible facilities for hand washing and hand sanitising 
  • Doing whatever they can to make sure that physical distancing is happening. They could be using signage and placing floor markings 1.5 metres apart. They could also reduce the numbers of people permitted in the space and provide more space for queuing. 
  • Taking extra steps to promote online service instead of face to face service 
  • Providing masks for workers to use 

Note: these suggestions are based off Safe Work Australia information and the government requirement for masks in indoor public settings, except for schools and office buildings. There is more detailed information on COVID-19 safety for each industry at Safe Work Australia 

Maintaining social distancing from customers 

If you think customers are not following physical distancing, speak with your employer about it. They could take further steps to ensure people are distancing, such as monitoring behaviour or marking out the direction of traffic.  

If people are finding it hard to distance, there may be too many people in the space. Your employer should consider reducing the number of people permitted in at a time.  

What can I do if my employer is not doing the right thing?  

If you think your employer is not doing enough to make sure everyone stays safe, there are a few things you can do.  

  • If you are a member of a union, get in touch with your union representative or call the union office for help. Join your union here. 
  • Raise the issue with your manager or with the work health and safety representative on your worksite. The work health and safety representative has the power to help sort out the issue. In some cases, they can direct unsafe work to stop. Your employer is not allowed to discriminate against you just because you have raised a health & safety issue.  
  • If there is a serious incident, you can call SafeWork SA on 1300 365 255. You can also contact SafeWork about other issues by email: help.safework@sa.gov.au   
  • If you think your employer is not complying with official COVID-19 directions, you could make a report to the police by calling 131 444 for non-urgent assistance.  

How can I deal with an influx of upset customers or clients?  

People might be upset or stressed due to the lockdown, but it is never okay for them to act aggressively towards you as a worker. Strategies for dealing with aggression include:  

  • Using calm communication to respond to the behaviour  
  • Refusing to engage with the customer or moving to a separate space. You have the right to stop doing work that is unsafe.  
  • Seeking support from other workers and debriefing afterwards  
  • Asking your manager if there are systems that they could put in place to reduce or better manage customer aggression 

SafeWork Australia has further information about this issue.  

Can I refuse to work during the lockdown?  

If you do not feel comfortable working during the lockdown, you will have to negotiate with your employer about taking some time off work.  

If you are a casual worker, you have no obligation to work if you choose not to. However, we all know it can be difficult to negotiate as a casual because your employer could stop giving you shifts in the long run.   

If you work part-time or full-time with set hours, you may need to request leave from your employer to take time off work. Get in touch with the Working Women’s Centre if you are unsure about your leave options.  

If you are a vulnerable person (due to having a compromised immune system, for example) the risk to your wellbeing is higher, and so your employer should consider allowing you to take leave to manage the risk to your safety. To negotiate some time away from work, provide your employer with a medical certificate or medical evidence showing that you are a vulnerable person. 

How can I deal with the stress and mental health strains of the lockdown?   

As an essential worker, you are likely to be placed under increased pressure during the lockdown. You may be working increased hours, in more stressful situations and dealing with the uncertainty of the situation. It’s important that you take care of yourself through this time.  

Some strategies for looking after yourself include:  

  • Get enough sleep and rest 
  • Consider taking a break from the news and social media 
  • Do things that make you feel safe and calm 
  • Create a routine that will help you have a sense of control  
  • Connect with your co-workers or other social connections via phone or online  
  • Stay active while complying with restrictions by doing some exercise or stretches at home 
Allow yourself to feel a sense of achievement for the work you are doing. Customer service and other essential services are often underpaid and undervalued. Your work is helping all of us get through a crisis, and for that you should be proud.  

 

There are also a number of mental health support services available:  

  • Ask your employer if there is an ‘Employee Assistance Program (EAP)’ that you can access. EAP is free and confidential mental health support for employees.  
  • For access to mental health services, or in a mental health emergency, call the 24 hour Mental Health Triage Service on 13 14 65 
  • There is a SA COVID-19 Mental Health Support Line 1800 632 753 and online chat 
  • Beyond Blue provides a Coronavirus Mental Wellbeing Service 

 

VOLUNTEER BLOG: an international student’s experience volunteering at the WWCSA

It all happened quite quickly. We arrived here as international students in February 2020, attended our orientation for two weeks, got lost on campus a few times and before we knew it, the pandemic had taken over most parts of the world and Australia closed its international borders indefinitely. No new international students would arrive, or indeed anyone who wasn’t an Australian citizen. I realized soon that I had to make the best of the situation. I missed home terribly and was concerned about my friends and family at home but could do nothing all the way from here. I decided to google all the things that I was interested in and tried to find organisations in South Australia I could get involved in, but I had no luck.  

My glimmer of hope was an Ad put out by the Working Women’s Centre asking for volunteers on a project examining how young women in South Australia were impacted by COVID19. I was soon at the Centre every Monday amongst the most passionate women who were all collectively trying to improve the lives and wellbeing of women and vulnerable workers at the workplace. It was the most meaningful work I could ever have the pleasure of working on. Soon enough, we were picking up momentum by collecting more survey responses and holding consultations with international students (some of whom were my dear friends) to identify what challenges we were facing and how to make our voices heard. The result was the report titled “Loss of work, isolation & worry: the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on young women” which was released in April, 2021.    

There were many extraordinary things that came from the report, which presented findings from:  
  • A survey of women under the age of 30 (293 respondents) 
  • An online consultation open to all young women  
  • A consultation of female international students   
  • A consultation with female Youth Ambassadors from the Australian Refugee Association 
  • A consultation with Industrial Officers at the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation 
  • Interviews with young women working in male-dominated trades, and 
  • A consultation with young women working in Education 

We found that most COVID-19 related job losses occurred for part-time workers, who are disproportionately women and young people.  Furthermore, international students who lost work due to COVID-19 had no access to government support like Jobkeeper or Jobseeker and had to rely on university support to make ends meet.

international students participating in a consultation about the impact of COVID19 on young women, how it effects their experience in the workplace

 

Pictured above: some of the participants from our consultation exploring the impact of the COVID19 pandemic on young women, with young international students based in South Australia. 

Our consultation of female international students held in December revealed that finding a new job after losing one was one of the hardest tasks during a pandemic. In some cases, students reported a call-back rate of less than 10% when applying for jobs.  Young women faced undue financial hardship as a result of this and had significant anxiety and worries over money matters. In addition to this, 44% of the survey respondents felt more discouraged about the prospect of finding work since COVID-19. 

It is so difficult for young women to access safe and secure jobs, it is no wonder that we are stressed about being able to get one in the future.  

  

In order to tackle the challenges facing young women, the report makes several recommendations including : 
  •  Investment in the creation of secure jobs for women through: 
  • a commitment to minimum job security requirements in services that receive government funding 
  • Investment that will create jobs in feminised sectors like mental health or domestic violence services 
  • Offering better supports to international students. This would allow international students to better  support themselves, continue their education and contribute to the  South Australian economy by as active and empowered participants. It would also reduce financial stress and stop international students from having to work  unsafe, low-paying jobs to continue their education.  

 

This engagement with the Working Women’s Centre is what helped me get through the pandemic. It offered me a kind and supportive space to grow and learn. More importantly, I finally felt like I was part of a community that shared the same values as I did, advocating for those groups in society that often go unvoiced. If this is something you need as well, the Working Women’s Centre is the place for you. 

Learn more about our Young Women & COVID19 project. 
The full report from our survey is available on our website
international student's experience volunteering at the working womens centre sa inc

UPCOMING EVENT: Feminist action session – discussion on combatting sexual harassment at work

Come along to our Feminist Action Session to help the Working Women’s Centre develop practical tools that can be used in workplaces.  

1 in 3 Australians have experienced sexual harassment at work, yet only 18% of victims report their experience (according to the Respect@Work Report 2020).  

The Working Women’s Centre SA has recently completed research that found that workplace posters are effective and engaging tools to highlight inappropriate behaviour and connect victims with support avenues. In the upcoming Feminist Action session, we will discuss ways in which we can combat sexual harassment in our workplaces and communities and support victims of sexual harassment. We’ll also share ideas for a meaningful poster for South Australian workplaces.  

In this session you will have the opportunity to share your ideas and discuss the topic with like-minded individuals. 

  • Bring a laptop or phone if handy, and a willingness to contribute ideas and listen to others.
  • Complimentary hot food and drinks will be provided.
  • The venue is wheelchair accessible. The nearest disability access bathrooms are at the Adelaide Train Station.

CONTENT NOTE: This event will involve a discussion of workplace sexual violence.

WHEN

29 Jul 2021
5.30-7.00pm

EVENT TYPE

Workshop

WHERE

The Working Women’s Centre SA, Level 1 Station Arcade, 52 Hindley Street

ACCESSIBILITY

Wheelchair Accessibility

REGISTER HERE

We acknowledge that this event is on Kaurna land and we pay our respect to the traditional custodians of the land, past and present . Sovereignty was never ceded.

Our voice, our future – Translating into action #2

About this event

Thanks for joining us at our SA Youth Week workshop, Our Voice, Our Future – Translating into Action. We appreciate all your input and have come away feeling energised and with a much better idea of some of the things that make youth participation and representation in decision making easier and harder. 

From your feedback it was clear to us that there is a lot more to talk about so we’ve decided to host a second event and want to those who attended last time to delve deeper into what you want youth participation in decision making to look like.

Our voice, our future – Translating into action

WHEN:  5-7pm Thursday 10th June 2021

WHERE: The Working Women’s Centre

Snacks and light refreshments will be provided

 

Your ideas and feedback will inform the development of a proposal to the South Australian Government outlining how they can improve youth participation and representation in decision making processes.

 

The venue is wheelchair accessible. The nearest disability access bathrooms are at the Adelaide Train Station.

We acknowledge that this event is on Kaurna land and we pay our respect to the traditional custodians of the land, past and present . Sovereignty was never ceded.

Radio Interview on The Wire: GENDER LENS ON BUDGET SHOWS CRUCIAL FUNDS MISSING

This interview was published by The Wire May 13 2021.

Listen to the full interview on The Wire here.

In a bid to repair their relationship with the women of Australia, the Federal Government is committing $3.4 billion to improving women’s safety, economic security, and health and wellbeing.

Women’s organisations say far more funds are needed to address workplace sexual harassment and violence.

Meanwhile, advocates welcome long-awaited recognition of violence against women and girls with disabilities.

 

Feminist action session – a COVID-19 recovery that factors in young women

About this event

The Working Women’s Centre SA has launched a report titled Loss of Work, Isolation & Worry: The Disproportionate Impact of COVID-19 on Young Women. In the report, we share the experiences of young women during the pandemic, as well as crucial policy recommendations that improve gender equality throughout the Covid-19 recovery process.  

We need decision makers to hear young women’s voices and make our recommendations happen! To achieve this goal, we need your support to make our voice stronger. Come along to our action session to help us spread the word!  

You will have the chance to take action in support of these recommendations amongst other like-minded people, and with information and support from the Working Women’s Centre.

This session will include:  

  • Spreading the word on social media
  • Asking organizations to sign on in support of the recommendations , and
  • Contacting your MP 

We will speak briefly about how you can take action, and then provide plenty of time to take action together.  

Bring a laptop if you have one!  

Snacks provided. 

We can’t wait to see you there!  

Check out the report in the meantime.

The venue is wheelchair accessible. The nearest disability access bathrooms are at the Adelaide Train Station.

We acknowledge that this event is on Kaurna land and we pay our respect to the traditional custodians of the land, past and present . Sovereignty was never ceded.

COVID-19 wrap: vaccination news, how young women are faring, and useful resources

This article was published by Croaky May 12 2021.

Read the full article on Croaky’s website here

Introduction by Croakey: The “shocking global disparity” in access to vaccines remains one of the biggest risks to ending the pandemic, the World Health Organization’s Director-General warned this week.

Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said high and upper-middle income countries, representing 53 percent of the world’s population, have received 83 percent of the world’s vaccines.

By contrast, low and lower-middle income countries account for 47 percent of the world’s population but have received just 17 percent of the world’s vaccines.

Speaking to a media briefing on 10 May, Dr Tedros cautioned against complacency as the number of COVID-19 cases and deaths plateau globally, notwithstanding rapidly increasing cases numbers and deaths in the South-East Asia region.

“Any decline is welcome, but we have been here before,” he said. “Over the past year, many countries have experienced a declining trend in cases and deaths, have relaxed public health and social measures too quickly, and individuals have let down their guard, only for those hard-won gains to be lost.”

The WHO Foundation has launched a “Together for India” appeal to raise funds to support WHO’s work in India, including the purchase of oxygen, personal protective equipment and medicines.

Dr Tedros said the spread of variants, increased social mixing, the relaxation of public health and social measures and inequitable vaccination are all driving transmission.

“My message to leaders is, use every tool at your disposal to drive transmission down, right now,” he said.

“Even if your country has a downward trend, now is the time to surge your capacities. Even in countries with the highest vaccination rates, public health capacities must be strengthened to prepare for the possibility of vaccine-evading variants, and for future emergencies.”

Meanwhile, public health researcher Alison Barrett details some of the latest research news on COVID vaccination and useful vaccination resources in the latest edition of the COVID-19 wrap, as well as reporting on the pandemic’s impact on women.

COVID-19 wrap: vaccination news, how young women are faring, and useful resources

The Working Women’s Centre wants to keep young women in SA

This article was published by City Mag May 10 2021.

Read the full article on CityMag’s website here

report conducted by not-for-profit organisation Working Women’s Centre has found South Australian women were “disproportionally” impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Between September 2020 and February 2021, the organisation collected written and online responses from 293 women, non-binary and genderqueer people under the age of 30. It found respondents were “hit hard” by the loss of work, increased pressure at work and home, and the mental health impacts of COVID-19.

The study revealed 44 per cent of respondents felt “discouraged” about the prospect of finding work, 48 per cent said they were “very worried” or “anxious” about money, a quarter had hours or pay reduced, and one in five lost their jobs.

This survey adds to the extensive media coverage and research conducted over the last year on how women have been disproportionately affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

WHAT CAN WE DO TO MAKE SURE THERE ARE BETTER OPPORTUNITIES HERE FOR SECURE WORK?”
— MADDIE SARRE

“The general mood that was conveyed to us by young women was very uncertain, and a lot of them spoke about being really worried about not being able to get work in the future,” Working Women’s Centre Youth Project Officer Maddie Sarre tells CityMag.

“Some of the main findings were that loss of work has been really huge for young women, because they are disproportionately working in a lot of the sectors that were impacted, also often employed casually, or in insecure work.

“But on the other hand, young women who are working in frontline sectors really faced increased pressure and stress. A lot of young women work in healthcare or in education, and about 40 per cent of those that responded to our survey said they were worried about getting COVID through their work, which I think takes a really big toll.”

Recently published ABS data shows women in the 20—34 age range accounted for 70 per cent of South Australia’s net female migration loss in 2019.

Although it’s been reported South Australia’s net interstate migration is at a 30-year high, the ABS data backing this claim shows South Australia is still consistently suffering a net loss in the 25—44 age range. (Though this data isn’t broken down by gender.)

Maddie says more research should be done to understand why this is occurring.

“We need to look into why are young people leaving,” she says, “and what can we do to make sure there are better opportunities here for secure work.”

Maddie says South Australia has “an opportunity right now”, as many of the young women surveyed by the Working Women’s Centre said they came back to South Australia “because of COVID”.

“It’s a real opportunity to retain those skills,” she says.

The WWC report includes four recommendations on how to improve outcomes for working women:

  1. Invest in the creation of secure jobs for women;
  2. fund programs specifically for female apprentices or trainees;
  3. introduce “gender responsive” budgeting;
  4. develop a new mechanism for young women to be heard at a policy-making level.
The Working Women’s Centre wants to keep young women in SA

Young women ‘disproportionately’ affected by coronavirus impact on jobs, SA survey finds

This article was published by ABC News Friday 30th April 5.47am 2021.

Read the full article on the ABC’s website here

A sample survey of South Australian women aged under 30 has revealed heightened anxiety and a lack of optimism about job prospects due to the global coronavirus pandemic.

Almost 300 women aged under 30 were surveyed by the Working Women’s Centre SA between September 2020 to February 2021.

More than 70 per cent of respondents said they had become “more anxious, sad or depressed” due to the pandemic, and 44 per cent said they were “discouraged” about the prospect of finding work.

“The social and economic ramifications of COVID-19 have disproportionately affected young women compared to other demographics,” the report stated.

More than half of respondents found “their way of working disrupted” and more than a quarter “had their hours or pay reduced”.

Nearly half said they were “very worried or anxious” about money.

“Between the time that SA’s first COVID-19 restrictions entered force in March 2020 and January 2021 all-male jobs had recovered, while female jobs remained well below pre-pandemic levels,” the report stated, citing Australian Bureau of Statistics data.

“This is a stark demonstration of the vulnerability of female jobs to disruption.

Working Women’s Centre youth project officer Maddie Sarre said the findings represented “a snapshot” of how young women in SA continued to be affected by coronavirus and its ongoing economic effects.

“On the other hand, those that continued to work during the pandemic faced increased pressure, through increased workloads and stress in frontline sectors such as healthcare.

Young women 'disproportionately' affected by coronavirus impact on jobs, SA survey finds

Loss of work, isolation and worry

Report- Loss of work, isolation and worry – 29 April 2021

The Working Women’s Centre SA has launched a new report: Loss of work, isolation and worry: the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on young women. The report finds that young women have been hit by loss of work, increased pressure at work and home and the mental health impacts of COVID-19.

Issues including insecure work, economy inequality and violence against women, which were exacerbated by COVID-19, position young women as the most in need of support through gender responsive COVID-19 recovery plans.

We are optimistic that the COVID-19 recovery is an opportunity for real and affective change. Our report emphasises that the creation of secure jobs in feminised sectors will improve employment for women and improve the economy through the COVID-19 recovery.

 

Through a survey of 293 women under 30 in South Australia, we found that since the pandemic hit:

  • 44% of survey respondents felt more discouraged about the prospect of finding work
  • 30% became more afraid of losing their job
  • 40% had concerns about contracting COVID-19 because of work
  • 48% said they were very worried or anxious about money
  • 71% had become more anxious, sad or depressed
  • Over 1 in 5 had lost their job
  • Over a quarter had hours or pay reduced

The report is a unique snapshot of the impact of COVID-19 specifically on young women in SA, looking at the combined impact of age and gender on these women’s shared experiences of the pandemic.

 

Our recommendations include:

  1. Investment into the creation of secure jobs for women through investment in feminised sectors and a commitment to minimum job security requirements
  2. The funding of a program of dedicated apprenticeships or traineeships for women
  3. The introduction of gender responsive budgeting
  4. A new mechanism for young women to be heard at a policy making level

Please find the full report here. 

For media enquiries, or to found out how you can support the recommendations, please contact Maddie at maddie@wwc.org.au

A group of young women

Our voice, our future – Translating into action

About this event

Are you passionate about the issues facing young people and your community? Do you want to influence the decisions that affect you?

This year’s SA Youth Week theme is Our Voice, Our Future and we want to know how you want your ideas to be heard by government and other decision makers.

If you’re aged 15-24 and interested in how young people are engaged in decisions come join us!

 

Our voice, our future – Translating into action

WHEN:  4.30-6pm Thursday 6th May 2021

WHERE: The Working Women’s Centre

Food will be provided

 

Your ideas and feedback will be used by YACSA and the Working Women’s Centre as part of the state government funded COVID-19 youth recovery projects and will help form a proposal for better youth representation in government decision making.

 

Please note that due to space limitations only 2 people per organisation/community group can register.

The venue is wheelchair accessible. The nearest disability access bathrooms are at the Adelaide Train Station.

We acknowledge that this event is on Kaurna land and we pay our respect to the traditional custodians of the land, past and present . Sovereignty was never ceded.

Working from home: Risks and Rewards

There have been many claims that Working from Home (WFH) will spearhead a feminist revolution, likening the change in our work environment to the structural changes we saw for working women during and after WW1.

These sorts of claims elicit many questions;

  • Is this a positive change?
  • Does WFH finally give women the flexibility we have been fighting for?
  • How do we navigate WFH when our own home is not safe?
  • What about work, health and safety? What about the costs of running a home office?
  • Will WFH be optional in the future? Should it be? Will more time in the home, increase our care work?
  • What types of workers get to WFH? Do you have to let your employer into your home? Will work hours increase? What on earth are we doing about childcare?

There are no simple answers, and as always it depends; not every person has the opportunity to WFH or experiences WFH equally. Can we re-imagine work, so that is works for us?

To keep this conversation going and maybe answer some of these questions, the Working Women’s Centre SA Inc is proud to host:

Working from Home: Risks and Rewards: An online panel conversation about gender and labour, while working from & in the home.

 

PANELLISTS:

  • Alison Pennington – Senior Economist for the Centre for Future Work
  • The Hon Michelle Lensink MLC – Minster for Human services in South Australia
  • Professor Suzanne Franzway – Emeritus Professor of Sociology and Gender Studies University of South Australia
  • Maria Hagias – Chief Executive Officer of Women’s Safety Services SA
  • MC – Abbey Kendall – Director of The Working Women’s Centre SA Inc.

Young Women & COVID19

The impact of COVID19 on young women has been devastating.

  • The pandemic has hit every aspect of our lives:
  • Financially, through job losses or reduced hours
  • Insecurity in current employment & long term career trajectory
  • Safety risks of exposure to COVID and risk of DV & sexual violence
  • An increased risk of homelessness
  • The toll on our Mental Health

 

When it comes to getting work, young women are in a worse position than any other age and gender demographic. So it’s important to question: are our needs reflected in COVID recovery policies? In this seminar, we will discuss the impacts of COVID19 on young women, what needs to happen to stop us from being left behind, and how to turn our anger into action. Several powerful young women will join us to share their thoughts and experiences.

 

Speakers:

  • Alison Pennington, Senior Economist at the Centre for Future Work
  • Siew Tang Woon, 485 working visa worker at the Adelaide Casino
  • Claudia Ienco, casual worker and part of Anti-Poverty Network SA
  • Jamila Ahmadi of the Australian Migrant Resource Centre
  • Kate McAuley, primary school teacher

 

There will be an Q&A session and opportunities to provide your input into the discussion. We acknowledge that this event will stream from Kaurna land and we pay our respect to the traditional custodians of the land, past, present and emerging. Sovereignty was never ceded.

 

This webinar is part of the Working Women’s Centre youth project that is funded by the Government of South Australia – Department of Human Resources.

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