Westpac New Zealand Sharing the Load Report
How sharing the load at home could deliver a $1.5 billion economic benefit for New Zealand
COVID-19 and resulting lockdowns put a spotlight on how New Zealand households share the load at home, or how households share housework and care responsibilites. In this report for Westpac, Deloitte explored attitudes to a more equal sharing of the load at home, and measured the economic benefit it could generate for New Zealand.
Based on a bespoke survey of over 2,400 New Zealanders, the report finds women typically undertake the majority of housework and care responsbilities, while men do the bulk of paid work. However, New Zealand couples want to share the load at home and paid work more equally. Men generally wanted to take on more housework and care responsibilities, while women wanted to increase the number of hours they spend in paid work.
Moving towards a more equal split of paid work and the load at home would not only match what many New Zealanders want, but also deliver a signifcant economic benefit. Sharing the load at home more equally helps to increase the average number of hours worked across households, which in turn increases labour supply. Modelling for this report estimates the New Zealand economy could be $1.5 billion larger on average, each year, as a result of sharing the load at home.
The report identifies four key areas for action to realise this economic benefit, including:
- Normalising flexible work
- Collaboration between businesses and Government to improve parental leave
- Improving childcare affordability
- Challenging traditional gender norms