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Homemakers: happiest and hardworking, but overlooked and unprotected

10 June 2016 | Press release


  • Homemakers are happier than people working in any other occupation and they work double the hours most people think.
  • 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.
  • Only 7% of homemakers say they have any income protection.

New research from LV=’s Home Truths Index reveals housewives and househusbands are the happiest in their careers(1). However the hours are much longer than others expect with homemakers working, on average, 66 hours(4) in a five day week, 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 a year(5), making them practically and financially vital to the everyday running of the household and in supporting the wider economy.

Whilst homemakers are happier than people working in any other occupation, they are not immune to accidents or illness. The consequences of them being unable to play their role can hit the household hard and fast:

  • Homemakers say it would take less than six days (5.9) for their homes to fall into disarray if they couldn’t do their normal household tasks.
  • A fifth of homes (19%) with a housewife or househusband would have to stump up for help like a cleaner or childminder and half (51%) would have to raid 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 18 days before they ran out of savings or had to borrow money.

Despite the impact this would have, only 7% of homemakers say they have a form of income protection to provide a financial safety net.

Myles Rix, Managing Director of Protection at LV=, said: “Homemakers are vital to many households in the UK, yet very few housewives and househusbands have income protection in place. With homemakers saying it would take less than a week for their house to fall into disarray if they were unable to do their day-to-day tasks, it’s worth advisers encouraging their clients to consider the value of both the breadwinner and the homemaker and their need for income protection.

“We have a number of client-facing tools, materials and support for advisers to help clients understand the need to protect their income. LV= Income Protection offers a reassuring, affordable solution for clients with a choice of waiting periods, monthly cover up to £1,500 and a simple and easy-to-understand definition of disability - vital for homemakers.”

Advisers can visit LV.com/adviser for more information about LV= tools and products.


  1. 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. 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. 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. 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. 5) Office for National Statistics data (April 2016), The value of unpaid chores at home.

Notes

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.

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