THE hidden value of unpaid housework has been revealed in a survey.
Figures from Yorkshire Building Society suggest that if people in the region were paid for the chores they do around the home – such as cooking, cleaning, shopping, gardening and DIY – they would be earning £150.67 a week or £7,834 a year.
Nationally, the hidden value of domestic chores stands at more than £462bn a year, with the average weekly “wage” totalling £151.23 and the average “salary” at £7,834.68.
The society, which has its roots in Huddersfield, polled more than 1,500 customers to find out how much housework they do each week.
It then applied the hourly rate typically charged for such work as cleaning, cooking, ironing and caring to find out the value of their unpaid work..
The average working week is 37.5 hours, but the survey showed that Britons spend half this time again – 16.5 hours – on unpaid household chores. That takes the average working week to 54 hours.
Cooking and DIY were the most costly weekly household tasks at £20.49 and £19.09 respectively.
Cooking is also the job Britons spend most time on – 2hr 22min – followed by cleaning 1hr 56min), gardening (1hr 48min) and grocery shopping (1hr 47min).
The survey showed that women spend more time than men on weekly unpaid household chores, 17hr 39min against 15hr 53min.
Among the UK regions people in the North-East spend the most time on domestic tasks at 17hr 23min a week.
In Yorkshire people typically spend 16hr 27min a week on domestic jobs.
Asked what would happen if they couldn’t do these tasks due to illness or injury 58% said they would expect their partner to do them in addition to their own share of the chores. Almost one in five would rely on family while only 8% would hire someone to do the work.
Tanya Jackson, the Yorkshire’s corporate affairs manager, said: “It is easy to underestimate the value of work carried out around the home.
“However, the fact that this work accounts for £462bn in the UK every year highlights that people must take into consideration the limitation on time and finances that would occur if people were unable to continue carrying out these duties.”