Breadwinning Mums, Caregiving Dads, and Equal Sharers: Research exploring how you organise work and childcare

Despite a gradual increase in fathers’ time with children and its positive implications for families, mothers continue to bear primary responsibility for childcare in the UK. This gender inequality in the home both disadvantages women in the workplace and denies men the opportunity to develop nurturing and involved relationships with their children.

Through September 2019 to February 2022, a large UK-wide study is being conducted at the University of Lincoln titled ‘Breadwinning Mums, Caregiving Dads: Transforming Gender in Work and Childcare?’. It is being funded by the Nuffield Foundation. By exploring parenting arrangements in which childcare responsibilities are shared equally or assumed primarily by the mother/father, the project will identify the barriers to greater gender equality.

To do this, the research team have distributed a brand-new online survey collecting experiences of time investment and the allocation of tasks from mothers and fathers living together with at least one shared biological child age 11 and under. The survey has been completed by parents:

  • In ‘traditional’ roles (where the main child-carer is the mother, and the main earner is the father).
  • In ‘reversed’ roles (where the main child-carer is the father, and the main earner is the mother).
  • Or mothers and father who share work and childcare fairly equally.


Face-to-face interviews will also be conducted with parents to explore different work and care arrangements within families. Please drop Dr Emma Long an email if you and your partner are interested in being interviewed (separately) for this project (

There is increasing attention being paid to policies around shared parental leave/paternity leave from organisations, campaigners, and families who want to be supported to raise their family the way they choose. From the findings of this large UK-wide study, the researchers aim to inform discussions on better ways to support fathers’ caring responsibilities through workplace policies and legislation around paternity and shared parental leave. Ultimately, this project seeks to identify the means to create more balanced, fulfilling lives for both men and women.

Please get in contact ( if you would like to know more or follow us on on Twitter.

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