Business News 

Third of workers with care responsibilities have flexible hours

14th July 2020

Long working hours the most common obstacle for reconciliating work and family life

One in every three employees with care responsibilities enjoy flexible working arrangements, according to a labour force survey with 2018 as the reference year.

The study, published by the National Office of Statistics, shows that more than one fourth of those aged between 18 and 64 years took care of children under 15 years of age, just 3.5 per cent looked after ill, elderly or disabled relatives and 2.1 per cent reported multi-generational care responsibilities. The rest - 68 per cent - did not have any care responsibilities.

There were 41,701 females who had childcare responsibilities and males totalled 40,452. On average, such people were 39 years old while those caring for the ill, the elderly or the disabled were aged 48.

The majority of people with care responsibilities were employed, a fifth were inactive and 1.4 per cent were unemployed. Females worked on average 34.3 hours a week and males eight hours more. Almost one in five females reduced their working time and 12.7 per cent of males sought ways to increase their income.

Well over half the females were able to vary the start and end of their working day. Just over 40 per cent of males had such a possibility. Likewise, more females than males reported flexibility in organising their working time to take whole days off and teleworking arrangements were used by more females than males.

The study found that long working hours was the most common obstacle for reconciliating work and family.

It also established that one in every four of those having childcare responsibilities used childcare services.

The majority arranged care alone or with their partner and in the case of 12.7 per cent children could take care of themselves.

Nearly one eighth of those with childcare responsibilities had informal support in their children’s care, that is grandparents’ help.

The majority of those aged between 18 and 64 said that, despite being employed and having children, they did not take a career break.


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Third of workers with care responsibilities have flexible hours