How children affect salaries

Family|April 25th 2016

Men earn more if they have children but women earn less, a new report suggests.

Fathers who have full-time jobs earn 21 per cent more on average than their childless peers. The number of children also has an effect on their salaries. Men with two children earn nine per cent more than those who only have the one child.

These figures came from a report by progressive think-tank IPPR, who analysed data from 17,000 workers from across England, Scotland and Wales. The research was carried out on behalf of the trade union TUC.

Unlike the trend among men, mothers who work full-time suffer a “wage penalty” as they earn 11 per cent less than women who do not have children.

While the reason for these discrepancies was unclear, researchers suggested that it could be the result of several factors including the number of hours worked. According to official labour statistics cited in the report, fathers work an average of half an hour a week more than childless men. By contrast, mothers with full-time jobs tend to work an hour a week less than women who do not have children.

Social attitudes were also considered a factor. Evidence in the report indicated that a CV from a father would be viewed more positively by a potential employer than an identical one from a man with no children. However the opposite was true for women, with mothers’ CVs viewed less favourably than those from childless women.

TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady said the fact that “men with children are seen as more committed by employers, while mothers are still often treated as liabilities” said a lot about current attitudes.

This outlook can have a negative impact on men too, as many are “afraid to request flexible working or time off in case it damages their career prospects”, she claimed. In order to change things, she said, fathers need to have “access to independent paid leave to look after their kids, that isn’t shared with their partners”.

Read the full report here.

Photo by Anil Mohabir via Flickr under a Creative Commons licence

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