Mums nearly six times more likely to reduce hours or change jobs than dads

New ONS report shows mums are still much more likely to change employment or reduce working hours than dads.

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Mums are still much more likely than dads to alter their employment because of childcare issues, according to a new report from the Office for National Statistics.

It found that 28.5% of mums with a child aged 14 years and under said they had reduced their working hours because of childcare reasons. This compared with 4.8% of fathers.

Over half of mothers had made a change to their employment for childcare reasons, compared with 22.4% of fathers, with most changes related to younger children.

While reducing hours was the main change made, around 8% of mum had switched jobs or employer to help with childcare arrangements, compared with 2% of fathers.

The report showed that 62% of parents felt they had some flexibility from their employers, with mums and dads equally likely to say this was the case.

Parents found it slightly harder to take whole days off work for childcare purposes. Mums were slightly more likely than fathers to say it was generally possible to take time off work to fulfil childcare responsibilities and dads more likely to say it was rarely possible.

According to the ONS, children’s age had an impact on employment and hours worked. Families whose youngest dependent child was aged between three and four years were most likely to have a father working full time while their partner worked part time (56.5%).

In comparison, parents whose youngest dependent child was aged between 16 and 18 years were most likely to both be in full-time employment (58.3%).


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The number of children in a family also makes a difference to employment. More than half (55.1%) of families with one child had both parents working full time, compared with 36.3% of families with three or more children. The number of dads and mums working part time increased in families with over three children.

The report says three quarters of mums are currently in work, compared with 92.6% of dads, with more mums being in work now than women without children. Just over seven in 10 married or cohabiting families have both parents in employment. It adds that there are 1.8 million single parent families with dependent children in the UK, with nearly 70% being in employment.

For children under two, 35.4% of lone parents are in full-time employment. This increases to 66% of single parents of 16- to 18-year-olds.

Around half of single parent families work full time (49.6%). Single parents with one child are more likely to work full-time (55.3%) and the likelihood of working part time increases if single parents have more than one child.



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