Women do 10 hours of housework more than men each week.

Women do 10 hours of housework more than men each week.

It is meant to be the age of the New Man and greater equality of the sexes. But women are still left to do most of the housework, official figures show.

They spend ten hours a week more than men do on chores, in total carrying out 26 hours of ‘unpaid’ work. More than seven hours a week are devoted to cooking, nearly six spent driving and more than four and a half hours each on housework and childcare.

Almost two and a half hours go into washing and ironing, leaving around 20 minutes working for a charity or voluntary group and a similar amount of time looking after elderly parents.

The ONS report said that ‘women put in more than double the proportion of unpaid work when it comes to cooking, childcare and housework an overall average of 60 per cent more unpaid work than men’.

Men are still failing to take on a significantly bigger share of childcare despite government attempts to provide incentives such as David Cameron and Nick Clegg’s ‘shared parental leave’ scheme.

Fathers spend less than half the time mothers do on childcare, the ONS found.

In 2015, a typical father spent 90.7 minutes a day looking after pre-school children, up only 4.7 per cent on the 86.7 minutes a day he did 15 years ago.

Older women and men are most likely to put in time on chores, with the 36 to 45-year-old age group the hardest working at 27.4 hours a week.

People over 56 spend the most time caring for older parents, 35 minutes a week.

The figures, gathered from diaries kept by hundreds of individuals charting how they spend their time, showed that students do the least housework and new mothers the most.

A typical student does 12 hours of unpaid effort a week, including only two hours of chores and three of cooking and washing up.

A mother on maternity leave, by contrast, spends 37 hours with their baby and other children, eight hours cooking, seven hours on chores,and two hours doing the laundry.

Altogether their duties total 60 hours – one and a half times the paid working week.

Less well off people do more unpaid work than wealthier families, the ONS found.

‘Many households are reliant on unpaid household services because they cannot afford to contract them out,’ it said. ‘On the other hand, some households prefer to carry out their own childcare as they see their own service as superior to a market equivalent.’

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