The number of minutes that fathers spend doing unpaid childcare per day has risen by 18%, an analysis by the Fatherhood Institute shows.
Working dads are spending significantly more time on childcare than before the pandemic, according to an analysis of ONS statistics by the Fatherhood Institute, while new figures show the number of stay-at-home dads has increased by over a third since 2019.
As ONS statistics show one in nine stay-at-home parents in September were fathers, up from one in 14 in 2019, an analysis by the Fatherhood Institute shows that the average daily number of minutes spent on unpaid childcare by working fathers who live with their children full-time increased by 18% from pre- to post- pandemic (2014-15 to March 2022).
At the same time, the number of minutes spent on childcare by mums fell by 3% from pre- to post-pandemic. The Fatherhood Institute says this means that in March 2022, working fathers were spending 65% of the time working mothers spent on unpaid childcare, compared to 54% in 2014/15.
The average daily minutes working fathers spent on unpaid domestic work, increased by 14% from pre- to post-pandemic; while working mothers’ decreased by 3%. In March 2022, working fathers were spending 66% of the time working mothers spent on unpaid domestic work, compared to 56% in 2014/15.
Working fathers spent a quarter (25%) more time working for pay than working mothers in March 2022: 5 hours 24 minutes per day compared to 4 hours 4 minutes per day on average. However working mothers’ time spent on paid work rose by 41 minutes (20%) between 2014/15 and March 2022, while working fathers’ time spent on paid work increased by 21 minutes (7%).
The Institute says the figures show that post-pandemic there has been a disproportionate shift towards working-from-home by fathers compared with mothers – although both now work more from home. In March 2022 working fathers spent more than a third (37%) of their paid work time working from home, compared with just 6% in 2014/15. The equivalent figures for working mothers were 8% pre- pandemic and 27% in March 2022.
Adrienne Burgess, Head of Research and Joint CEO at the Fatherhood Institute, said: “Giving fathers the chance to spend more time at home is absolutely key to achieving more gender-equal sharing of earning and caregiving. Now we need stronger action to make parenting leave and flexible working policies more father-inclusive.”
The Institute is calling for more gender equal parental leave policies, including well-paid paternity leave and a period of well-paid, use-it-or-lose-it parental leave for all fathers, as well as a day one right to flexible working, with the onus on employers to advertise flexible options and justify when these are not possible.