Press Release 25/06/2019


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Three in ten people in work in the Basque Country had great difficulty combining work with looking after children in 2018

Compared to 2010, the difference in time dedicated to domestic tasks by men and women in work reduced from one hour to 0.7 hours

30.2% of employed people resident in the Basque Country expressed having great difficulty balancing work with looking after minor children, and 37% with looking after their dependents, according to Eustat data. This high degree of difficulty is also perceived by 26.7% of working people when it involves balancing work with personal activities. From the point of view of gender, it is worth mentioning that the difficulty in combining work with other aspects of life is similar for employed men and women.

However, with regards to the amount of time dedicated per day to looking after children and dependent persons, there continued to be differences between men and women. Women who work outside the home and have children under the age of 15 dedicated 1.4 hours more per day to their care than working men (4.7 and 3.3 hours, respectively). While just over half of women (53.4%) dedicated 5 hours or more per day to looking after their children, in the case of men this percentage stood at 23.1%, with the majority (42.5%) dedicating 2 hours or less to the care of their children.

Furthermore, regarding the time dedicated by people in work to looking after dependent persons, women spent, on average, one hour more per day on this activity than men (2.4 and 1.4 hours, respectively).

The distribution of domestic tasks amongst working men and working women in the Basque Country was also imbalanced: nine out of ten men, 89.5%, dedicate 2 hours or less to those tasks, whilst almost three out of ten women, 27%, dedicate 3 hours or more.

In comparison with data from 2010, it can be observed that the difference in time dedicated to domestic tasks by working men and women has decreased over the years. Whilst in 2010 women dedicated an hour more to household tasks than men, in 2018 this difference dropped to 0.7 hours.

This uneven distribution of functions means that 19.5% of working women were very unsatisfied with the collaboration offered by their spouse or partner in carrying out domestic tasks. In contrast, a high number of working men were very satisfied with the participation of their partner (74.5%). Despite this, the percentage of men declaring themselves to be very satisfied with the time they spend on household tasks (44.3%) is similar to that for women (43.5%).

It is worth mentioning that working women expressed a greater satisfaction from looking after their children; 58% indicated a high satisfaction; and their dependents; 41.9%; for working men, these percentages dropped to 52.6% and 37.2%, respectively.

19.3% of the working population had to habitually dedicate more hours to their job than those established or foreseen, and another 15.6% did so sometimes. Compared to the previous year, the percentage of people who find themselves forced to prolong their working day, habitually or sporadically, decreased by 4.3 points, from 39.2% to 34.9%. This prolongation in the working day affected men more than women, as while 15.9% of men and a similar percentage of women (15.3%) sometimes extended their working day, a greater percentage of men almost always prolonged their working day, 20.9% compared to 17.5% of women.

On the other hand, 19.2% of working men believed that requesting paternity leave would be highly detrimental to them. Notwithstanding, just 7.1% of men believed that paternity could affect them slightly compared to 22% of working women, who believed that maternity could create promotion inequalities. The fear that requesting leave or reduced hours would affect career options was slightly greater amongst women than amongst men (31.8% and 30.4%, respectively).

46% of employed people had little difficulty in obtaining extended leaves of absence or a reduction in working hours, and 35% have flexible hours for leaving work

Amongst the various methods that might facilitate the reconciliation of work, family and personal life, short-term leave is within reach of the majority of the working population, followed by the possibility of requesting leave in the form of unpaid days off. Furthermore, almost half the working population stated that they experienced little difficulty in obtaining extended leaves of absence or a reduction in working hours.


A flexible timetable for finishing work, another solution for improving reconciliation, was enjoyed by over a third of people in work (35.4%). As regards working from home, 8.3% of people in work worked sporadically from home and 4.3% at least half of the time, very similar figures to those from the previous year.

On 24.4% of occasions it was unpaid family members who took responsibility for the sporadic care of the children of working parents during their working hours.

In households where both partners worked, looking after children during the working hours of the parents corresponded to schools in 90.4% of cases, on 4.1% of occasions to unpaid family members and in 3.8% of cases to both parents.

In these same households, the sporadic care of children when, during working hours, they have to be taken to the doctor, are ill or do not have school, corresponded to both parents on 63.4% of occasions, on 24.4% to unpaid family members and on 7.8% to the mother; the father took responsibility for their care on only 2.3% of occasions.

Finally, in relation to work preferences, the working population opted for the condition of salaried worker (85%) against that of self-employed worker (15%) and for working in the public sector (62.8%) as opposed to the private sector (37.2%), while this preference is more balanced between large companies (58.3%) and small companies (41.7%)

For further information:

Eustat - Euskal Estatistika Erakundea / Basque Statistics Institute C/ Donostia-San Sebastián, 1 01010 Vitoria-Gasteiz Press service: Tel: 945 01 75 62

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Three in ten people in work in the Basque Country had great difficulty combining work with looking after children in 2018

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Survey on the reconciliation of work, family and personal life
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