There are approximately 349,500 people in Ireland who work as stay-at-home parents – and the vast majority of these (94%) are women*. The work they do is invaluable for their families and irreplaceable for the community, yet more than 8 in 10 people agree that the role of the stay-at-home parent is either under-supported or undervalued by society in Ireland. This is according to the findings of a new survey from Royal London Ireland pensions provider, which was conducted by iReach earlier this year.
The nationwide survey of 1,000 participants in Ireland sought to understand people’s perception of the value of stay-at-home parents and revealed that 93% of people underestimate the financial value of the stay-at-home parent. Royal London Ireland compared these perceptions with their own research into the monetary value of the homemaker. According to the life and pension provider’s calculations, which are based on real-world wage data, the cost to employ someone to do the ‘duties’ performed by stay-at-home mams and dads would be an estimated €53,480 per annum. Despite this, survey participants estimated the potential ‘salary’ of the stay-at-home parent at an average of €28,460 per year.
As an annual exercise, Royal London Ireland considered and compiled a list of duties usually carried out by stay-at-home parents, before researching the cost of employing someone to do these jobs. The duties listed are ones that parents carry out on a weekly basis such as cooking, cleaning, driving children to their various activities and so on.
Commenting on the findings, Philip McGoldrick, Wicklow Broker Consultant, Royal London Ireland said,
“While 18% of people believe the role of the stay-at-home parent is held in high esteem by Irish society, it’s interesting to see that a large majority (82%) believe homemakers are not supported enough or valued by society.
“What is somewhat less surprising, given that this role is predominantly filled by females, is that more women than men (88% vs 75%) believe that Irish society doesn’t support or value the contributions of stay-at-home parents. This is despite the number of stay-at-home dads more than doubling in the 10 years from 2009 to 2019, rising from 7,000 to 19,900.*”
“It’s understandable that, without doing the calculations, many people may not accurately estimate what the cost would be to replace the stay-at-home parent. What is surprising, is just how much they undervalue it by.”