Men picking up more household chores during lockdown (but it's still less than women)

27 May 2020, 10:29

A man pops to the shops in the coronavirus lockdown
A man pops to the shops in the coronavirus lockdown. Picture: PA

By Asher McShane

British men have been picking up an increasing share of household chores during lockdown, official analysis shows.

But the data compiled by the ONS shows men still do over an hour less unpaid work including housework each day than women.

Men increased the amount of unpaid work including activities such as caring for children or adults, housework and volunteering by 22 minutes a day to 2 hours and 25 minutes, according to the analysis of a ‘Time Use Survey’ taking into account dates between March 28 and April 26 2020.

READ MORE: Towns in England will face 'local lockdowns' to tackle coronavirus

Women however reduced the amount of time they spent on unpaid work by 20 minutes a day, to 3 hours and 32 minutes.

Childcare time including activities like feeding, washing, and helping with homework increased significantly for those with children, rising by 35% to 1 hour and 47 minutes a day.

Childcare by older people, 60 and above, fell by 90% - this equated to 1 hour 45 minutes lost a week.

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The results also showed that people from lower income households (earning up to £1,700 p.m. after tax) were working the same amount outside the home after ‘stay at home’ guidance on 23 March as they were five years ago.

Higher income households earning over £3,300 p.m. after tax were more likely to switch to home working than people in lower income households.

All households saw an increase in time spent on leisure activities, with higher income households gaining the most time, because of a fall in time spent commuting.

 Gueorguie Vassilev of the ONS said: “These new findings show that not all households are experiencing the impacts of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic in the same way. It will be interesting to see if time use reverts to a pre-pandemic pattern after this crisis is over, or if some changes will be lasting ones.”