Housewives and househusbands are the happiest in their careers despite working more than 60 hours in a five day week, according to new research from LV=’s Home Truths Index.
The study found only 13% of homemakers are dissatisfied in their role – less than half the number of those working as civil servants, social care workers and retail workers. 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.
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 hours 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 year, 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. 19% of homes with a housewife or househusband would have to pay for help like a cleaner or childminder and 51% would have to dip into their savings to do so, while 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.”