4125.0 - Gender Indicators, Australia, August 2016  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 02/09/2016   
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2 September 2016
Embargo: 11.30 am (Canberra time)
Dad's the word

Happy Father's Day to Australia's 5.4 million dads!

In recent years, more Australian dads have been making time to care for young kids, according to new data released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

Lisa Conolly, Director of Family and Community Statistics at the ABS, said the number of dads using flexible working arrangements to care for their children has doubled since the mid 90s.

"Nowadays, around 30 per cent of dads took advantage of flexible work hours to look after young children (under 12), compared with 16 per cent of dads two decades ago," said Ms Conolly.

"The number of dads working from home to care for their children doubled from 7 per cent to 14 per cent, while dads who worked part-time to care for their children rose from 1 per cent to 5 per cent."

Mums still do most of the child care, with many dads fitting it in around full-time work - 90 per cent of dads with children under 15 are employed (compared with 65 per cent of mums). Just under 92 per cent of these dads work full-time (compared with 42 per cent of employed mums).

While the working hours of dads didn't change by the age of their children, this was not the same for mums: those with young children worked fewer hours than those with older children.
  • Full time working dads of children under 15 worked an average of 42 hours per week, while part-timers worked an average of 20 hours.
  • Working mums with children under 6 worked an average of 33 hours per week full-time and 16 hours part-time.
  • Those with older children (6-14) worked 38 hours per week full-time and 18 hours per week part-time on average.

"It comes as no surprise that almost all parents of children under 15 - 85 per cent of dads and 93 per cent of mums - felt rushed or pressed for time" said Ms Conolly. "However, around 89 per cent of both also felt they were able to spend quality time with their family and friends."

For more information about fathers see the ABS online products: Census 2011, Gender Indicators, Australia (cat. no. 4125.0) and Child Education and Care, Australia, 2014 (cat. no. 4402.0).
    Media notes
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