A recent survey has revealed that on average, fathers in the UK are spending longer – 58% longer – looking after their children in lockdown than they would usually do.
In the run up to Father’s Day, The Fatherhood Institute revealed that research from the Office for National Statistics show that fathers, given shorter hours and more home working, have dramatically increased their contribution to childcare.
The survey of 1,300 families was conducted between 28 March and 26 April and also found that men’s weekly working hours (including their commute) has fallen by an average of 11% in the same period of time.
In 2015, men spent 39% of the time that women spent on childcare and in lockdown, this figure has risen to 66% – a rise of 58%.
The Institute calculated that in order to maintain the amount of time fathers are spending on childcare post-lockdown, they would need an additional eight hours of free time each week.
The think tank suggests this could be achieved by reducing the time spent commuting to and from work, working remotely more often, and cutting a few hours from their working week.
The Fatherhood Institute is now calling for the government to encourage fathers to embrace remote working if they can in order to enable them to spend more time on childcare.
Adrienne Burgess, co-chief executive of the Fatherhood Institute, said: “The Government’s figures show that fathers, given shorter hours and more home-working, dramatically increase their contribution to childcare.
“It’s time to end workplace discrimination against involved fatherhood so that dads can play their part as they wish to – and will do.”
The study comes after research found that full-time working mothers suffer from high stress levels.
A team of researchers from the University of Manchester and the University of Essex analysed data from more than 6,000 individuals collated by The UK Household Longitudinal Study. The nationwide study, published in the British Sociological Association journal Sociology, gathers various information from households across the country including the working life of the inhabitants, their hormone levels, blood pressure and experiences with stress.
According to their findings, the overall levels of biomarkers associated with chronic stress are 40 per cent higher among women who have two children and are working full-time jobs, in comparison to women who have no children and are also working full-time.