According to a new study, parents’ employment suffered as a result of the closure of German schools and daycares during the coronavirus pandemic. However, once schools and daycares reopened, parents’ employment levels rose again. Parents whose kids attended school or day care even part-time put in an extra 1.5-2 hours per week compared to those whose kids didn’t have any such opportunities. There were no differences between the sexes, according to the study.
The study, initiated by the University of Cologne’s Institute of Sociology and Social Psychology and Nuremberg’s Institute for Employment Research (IAB), looks at what happens when classes resume in the spring of 2020, after a lockdown that lasted for the months of March and April.
The Journal of European Social Policy published the study.
The researchers in this study compared the working hours of parents who were subject to varying childcare constraints based on the school and childcare policies of the German federal states (Laender). The research set out to determine whether or not parents were able to resume working longer hours after the resumption of school and the opening of daycare facilities.
The researchers analyzed two competing hypotheses. First, parents’ need to tend to childcare responsibilities during school closures contributed to the widely reported decrease in working hours. Second, the opening of schools and nurseries should not result in an increase in parents’ working hours if employers have already reduced the hours of employees (with or without children) as a result of the lockdown or increased them again in the course of the relaxations.
What researchers concluded, as per their report: “Our results indicate that prolonged closure goes along with negative employment effects for parents. Hence, containment and closure policies to prevent the spread of COVID-19 have substantial economic and social side effects.”