Press release

Homemaker: the happiest job in the UK

  • Homemakers are happier than people working in any other occupation, but they work double the hours most people think.
  • If a homemaker was unable to carry out their normal tasks, on average it would take less than six days for their home to become unlivable because of the mess and disruption.
  • Households would only be able to afford to pay for help for 18 days if the homemaker was unable to undertake their usual duties because of accident or illness.
New research from LV=’s Home Truths Index reveals housewives and househusbands are the happiest in their careers1 despite working more than 60 hours in a five day week.

The study found only one in seven (13%) homemakers are dissatisfied in their role – less than half the number of those working as civil servants, social care workers and retail workers.2 The most significant factors contributing to homemakers’ high satisfaction levels are being able to spend time with their children, low stress levels and flexible working hours.3

Mentoring 1h 1m, Transport family 56m, Laundry 1h 28m, Cooking 1h 44m, Gardening 1h 2m, Shopping 1h 20m, Cleaning 1h 47m, Childcare 2h 7m, Other tasks 1h 46m
However, the hours are much longer than others expect. On average people think homemakers work just 31 hours a week, but they actually work 66 hours4 a week on average, with tasks like childcare, cooking and cleaning taking up the majority of their time. The Office for National Statistics values the work of a homemaker at £38,162 per year5, making them crucial to the household.

The importance of homemakers is underlined by the fact that if they were unable to do their normal household tasks because of an accident or illness, it would take less than six days (5.9) for their homes to fall into disarray. A fifth (19%) of homes with a housewife or househusband would have to pay for help like a cleaner or childminder and half (51%) would have to dip into their savings to do so, while one in ten (10%) would have to rely on credit cards.

On average, families would only be able to manage to pay for help for just 18 days before they ran out of savings or had to borrow money. Despite this, only 7% of homemakers are covered by an income protection policy, which would provide a financial safety net that would enable them to pay for help if they were unable to do their normal tasks due to illness.

Myles Rix, Managing Director of Protection at LV=, said: “Despite being crucial to many households in the UK, very few families have protection in place that would allow them to pay for help if the homemaker was unable to do their day-to-day tasks. It makes sense to guard against unnecessary household stress by ensuring that both the breadwinner and homemaker are covered by income protection.”

Notes to editors

  1. LV= surveyed 3,136 UK adults working in 26 industries and found that homemakers were the least likely to dissatisfied in their role.
  2. According to LV= research, 30% of civil servants are dissatisfied with their jobs, while 29% of people working in both social care and retail said they were dissatisfied.
  3. For homemakers, 30% said one of the three most satisfying factors of their role was being able to spend time with their children, 23% said low stress levels, while 18% said the flexible working hours.
  4. Current homemakers (non-retired) said they work 13.18 hours per day, which means they work 65.9 hours in a 5-day working week.
  5. Office for National Statistics data (April 2016), The value of unpaid chores at home. 

LV= commissioned Opinium Research to conduct the Home Truths survey between 17-25 March 2016. The total sample size was 3,136 UK adults, 752 of who are currently homemakers. The research was conducted online and results have been weighted to a nationally representative criteria, where appropriate.

About LV=

LV= employs over 6,000 people and serves over 5.8 million customers with a range of financial products. We are the UK’s largest friendly society and a leading financial mutual.

When we started in 1843 our goal was to give financial security to more than just a privileged few and for many decades we were most commonly associated with providing a method of saving to people of modest means. Today we follow a similar purpose, helping people to protect and provide for the things they love, although on a much larger scale and through a wide range of financial services including insurance, investment and retirement products. We are currently the UK’s number one brand for Insurance and Investments, according to the 2015 YouGov Brand Index Buzz Rankings.

We offer our services direct to consumers, as well as through IFAs and brokers, and through strategic partnerships with organisations including ASDA and Nationwide Building Society.

Authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority. LVFS is a member of the ABI, the AFM and ILAG. Registered address: County Gates, Bournemouth BH1 2NF.

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