26th June 2015
Homemakers clock up an average of 56 working hours a week before childcare duties.
Research by insurer LV= shows the average stay-at-home wife or husband has a working week that is 17 hours longer than their at-work partner if travel time is excluded. They spend an average of 56 hours a week covering essential household duties such as cooking and laundry and another six hours can be added to the total each day when childcare is taken into account.
Cooking takes up one hour 47 minutes a day, cleaning one hour and 45 minutes and laundry one hour 30 minutes, the role of keeping house also includes shopping, mentoring children with homework, gardening, being a taxi service for family members and house admin such as paying the bills, managing finances and overseeing home improvements.
Despite the number of hours worked by homemakers, one in three breadwinners believe their partner’s role is ‘easy’ and 30% of homemakers worry their partner things they could ‘do a better job’ and one in five feels undervalued.
However, if homemakers were unable to do their duties, nearly half (48%) would be forced to rely on help from family or friends and 20% would be forced to pay for services such as a cleaner or childminder. One in 10 said they ‘wouldn’t be able to cope’ if their partner could not undertake their homemaker duties.
There is also a financial impact; even at minimum wage, it would cost the family £364 a week – or £19,000 a year – to cover off the essential home duties, before childcare is taken into account.
Myles Rix, managing director of protection at LV=, said: ‘At LV= we understand the crucial role that a homemaker contributes in the family, often working long hours on a multitude of tasks. This is why our income protection product can also cover the homemaker, providing an income if they are unable to carry out the daily tasks associated with this role due to illness or injury.’