Mothers continue to work part-time when their children grow older

06/03/2008 15:00

After the birth of their first child, most mothers continueworking, preferably part-time. As their children grow older, mothers rarely start working longer hours. Fathers usually continue to work in full-time jobs after the birth of their child(ren) and rarely adjust their working hours.

This picture also emerges from the latest publication on this subject by Statistics Netherlands entitled 'Working mothers'. The animation shows the working pattern of Dutch women in various types of households in an interactive and visually appealing manner.

Most mothers remain active on the labour market

In 2007, more than one third of working women did not change their working hours after the birth of their first child. Also a third reduced their working hours, but continued working. Only 10 percent stopped working altogether. More than 15 percent neither worked before nor after the birth of their child.

Fathers did not adjust their working hours after the birth of their first child. Over 80 percent had working weeks exceeding 35 hours before as well as after the birth of their child and these patterns for men and women have barely changed since 2000.

Changes in the working pattern after the birth of their first child, 2007

Changes in the working pattern after the birth of their first child, 2007

Women prefer part-time jobs

One third of women working full-time (more than 35 hours a week) did not accommodate their working pattern after the birth of their first child. One in two female full-timers reduced their working hours after the birth of their child to somewhere between 12 and 35 hours a week. The most popular part-time job ranges between 20 and 27 hours a week. Last year, nearly 30 percent of mothers had jobs in this range after the birth of their first child. 

Once a part-timer, always a part-timer?

The birth of a second child has less impact on the working pattern. Most mothers do not change the number of working hours after the birth of their second child. When the youngest child goes to school, this does not affect their working pattern either. In a family with two children, only 6 percent of mothers started working longer hours as soon as the youngest child reached primary-school age. No more than 10 percent of mothers increased their working hours as soon as their youngest child attended secondary school.

Changes in the working pattern of mothers with two children, 2007

Changes in the working pattern of mothers with two children, 2007

Martine Mol