Parents ‘tax’ school-age children who take part-time work

Parents are “taxing” their live-at-home children who take part-time jobs, according to new research reported in the Guardian.

A study finds that many parents withhold the pocket money they would normally have given their teenage children if they work. The study found that parents are, however, more generous with their cash when their children are approaching their exams, possibly with a view to limiting their working hours.

Dr Angus Holford, senior research officer at the Institute for Social and Economic Research at the University of Essex, studied data on 5,000 girls and 5,000 boys across a two-year period, between the ages of 14 and 16.

The study: Do Parents Tax Their Children? Teenage Labour Supply and Financial Support, based on data from the past decade, the most recent available, also found significant gender differences when it came to part-time working.

At age 14, 25% of boys but only 19% of girls had a part-time job. But, by 16, girls had overtaken the boys. Almost a third, 32%, against 29% of boys, had a part-time job. However, the gender pay gap appears to start early on in life. Girls were earning £4.06 an hour against £4.34 an hour for boys, based on an average 6.5 hours of work a week.

Holford suggested the disparity was down to the fact that girls tended to mature faster than boys and were therefore more employable.

“Boys get things like paper rounds relatively early and then, later on, when they are allowed to do proper jobs, say in shops and bars, girls make more attractive employees and they therefore have more opportunities.”

More: Parents ‘tax’ school-age children who take part-time work

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