English grandparents 'are younger'
Published on 28 June 2012 10:30 AM
Grandparents in England are often younger and more likely to be in paid work than their counterparts elsewhere in Europe, research has shown.
The study, completed by the charity Grandparents Plus, shows that 63% of over 50s in England have grandchildren, which is a similar figure to that in France and Austria, but higher than in Greece, Germany, Switzerland, Italy, the Netherlands and Spain.
Statistics show that only Sweden, Denmark and Belgium have a higher proportion of grandparents in this age group.
Meanwhile, just short of a quarter (23%) of grandparents in this country are still working, while the average across the other 11 countries investigated is just one in seven.
Grandparents in England are also less likely to report symptoms of depression and poor health, according to the findings.
The research was completed by the Institute of Gerontology at King's College London, which worked with Grandparents Plus, the Beth Johnson Foundation and received funding from the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation.
More than 40,000 respondents aged 50 and over took part.
Sam Smethers, Chief Executive of Grandparents Plus, said: 'One in four working parents in the UK rely on grandparents for childcare, and one in five (19%) of grandmothers are spending at least 10 hours a week looking after grandchildren.
'The high percentage of grandparents in the UK who are themselves still working underlines the need for the Government to introduce a right to request flexible working for all, to enable grandparents to balance employment with caring for grandchildren.'
Copyright Press Association 2012