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Hardworking homemakers clock up 56 hours a week

26 June 2015 | Press release


  1. Homemakers work an average of 56 hours a week, not including childcare duties
  2. One in three breadwinners feel stay-at-home role is ‘easy’
  3. Yet household would have to find £364 a week (£19,000 a year) to pay for extra help if the homemaker became ill or injured

The average housewife or househusband has a working week that is 17 hours longer than their at-work partner, if we exclude travel time (1).

According to research from income protection specialist LV=, full time homemakers spend an average of 56 hours a week covering essential household duties such as cooking and laundry. What’s more, on average homemakers with children face an additional six hours a day providing childcare.

While cooking (1h 47m), cleaning (1h 45m) and laundry (1h 30m) are the most time-consuming chores, ‘keeping house’ also includes wider tasks such as shopping for essentials (1h 23m), mentoring children with homework (1h 8m), gardening (1h 4m), transporting family members (56m) and other tasks including house admin, including paying bills, managing finances and home improvements (1h 41m).

While most working partners appreciate the work of the homemaker, one in three (33%) breadwinners believe the role their partner plays is ‘easy’. As a result, a similar number of homemakers (30%) worry that their partner thinks they could ‘do a better job’ and one in five (21%) feels undervalued.

Yet it is clear that homemakers play a crucial role as most families and couples would be lost without the work and support of the stay-at-home partner. Nearly half (48%) would be forced to rely on help from family or friends and one in five (20%) would be forced to pay for services such as a cleaner or childminder. Unfortunately, one in 10 (8%) wouldn't be able to rely on family or opt for paid help, stating they 'wouldn't be able to cope'.

The financial impact would also be severe, given that even at minimum wage, it would cost the family £364 a week (or £19,000 a year) to cover off the essential home duties (not accounting for childcare) (2).

The homemaker 11-hour working day

Activity

Time spent

Cleaning

1h 45m

Shopping

1h 23m

Gardening

1h 4m

Cooking

1h 47m

Laundry

1h 30m

Taxiing family

56m

Homework/counselling

1h 8m

Other

1h 48m

Myles Rix, Managing Director of Protection at LV= said: “At LV= we understand the crucial role that a homemaker contributes in the family, often working long hours on a multitude of tasks. This is why our income protection product can also cover the homemaker, providing an income if they are unable to carry out the daily tasks associated with this role due to illness or injury.”


  1. 1) The average number of hours worked by full-time employees a week is 39.2 in 2014 (Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings, ONS, 2014). This is 16.8 hours a week less than the 56 hours shown in our research.
  2. 2) According to research by Opinium, commissioned by LV=, the average homemaker works 56 hours a week. This was multiplied by the current minimum wage, to get the average weekly equivalent salary, and then by 52 to calculate the equivalent annual salary.

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