Families and the labour market, UK: 2021
- In April to June 2021, three in four mothers with dependent children (75.6%) were in work in the UK, reaching its highest level in the equivalent quarter over the last 20 years (66.5% in 2002).
- Over 9 in 10 (92.1%) fathers with dependent children were employed in April to June 2021; this is an increase from 89.6% in 2002 but has plateaued in recent years.
- The employment rate was higher for mothers than either women or men without dependent children and has been since 2017.
- From 2020, in families where both parents are employed, it has become more common for both parents to work full-time, rather than a man working full-time with a partner working part-time.
- In April to June 2021, 12.1% of parents reported that they mainly worked from home in their main job; mothers were more likely to report homeworking (13.4%) than fathers (10.7%).
- More than half (57.7%) of families with only one child had both parents working full-time, compared with 39.5% of families with three or more children.
- When asked about any special working arrangements, such as flexible or term-time hours, 33.3% of mothers reported an agreed special working arrangement in their job, compared with 23.6% of fathers.
- In March 2022, employed women with dependent children spent more time on unpaid childcare (an average of 85 minutes per day) and household work (an average of 167 minutes per day) than employed men with dependent children (56 and 102 minutes per day, respectively).
- In March 2022 Employed women with dependent children spent more time on all work combined (an average of 496 minutes per day working from home, working away from the home, on unpaid childcare and unpaid household work) than employed men with dependent children (481 minutes per day).
In April to June 2021, three in four mothers (75.6%) were in work in the UK, reaching its highest level in the equivalent quarter over the last 20 years from 66.5% in 2002.
In the same period, 92.1% of fathers were employed. This has also increased from 89.6% in 2002 but has plateaued in recent years.
In 2021, employment rates for mothers and fathers were higher than for either men or women without dependent children. Around 7 in 10 (69.1%) of women without dependent children were in work in 2021; a slight increase compared with 67.4% in 2002. In comparison, the number of men employed without dependent children decreased slightly to 71.9% in 2021, from 73.8% in 2002.
The employment rate for fathers has been consistently higher than for men without dependent children. The employment rate for mothers has been higher than for women without dependent children since 2007 and higher than for men without dependent children since 2017. In 2021 the employment rate for mothers (75.6%) was greater than for women without dependent children (69.1%) and for men without dependent children (71.9%)