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Working dads get 21% ‘wage bonus’

Fathers working full-time out-earn their childless colleagues by more than a fifth, research has found


Working dads get paid a fifth (21%) more than their childless counterparts, according to a new report based on 17,000 workers.

This ‘wage bonus’ increases by 9% for fathers with two children, the research by the think tank IPPR for the TUC has found.

But working women can expect a 15% pay cut if they become mothers before the age of 33.

TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady said: “In stark contrast to the experience of working mums who often see their earnings fall after having children, fatherhood has a positive impact on men’s earnings”.

The report suggests that this fatherhood ‘wage bonus’ may be down to dads working longer hours and putting in increased effort at work in comparison to men without children.

It cited that official labour market figures show that men with children work slightly longer hours on average than those without.

Meanwhile mothers, even those in full-time jobs, tend to work shorter hours than similar women without children.

“It says much about current attitudes that men with children are seen as more committed by employers, while mothers are still often treated as liabilities,” TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady added.

A recent poll by the Fawcett Society suggests that public opinion in the UK reflects this bias, with more than a quarter (29%) of respondents saying dads are more committed to their jobs after having a baby, while nearly half (46%) believe mums are less so.

The TUC believes this research illustrates that fathers are still assumed to be the major breadwinners while mothers are expected to fit in work around looking after children. 

The report used data from the 1970 British Cohort Study, which follows the lives of 17,000 men and women born in England, Scotland and Wales in a single week of 1970.

The gap between men and women’s pay for full-time workers was 9.4% in April 2015, compared with 9.6% in 2014, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said in November.

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