The EESC held one of its "Going Local" meetings on the live-in care sector in the EU, last 13th of June in Poland.
The event discussed Adam Rogalewski's own-initiative oppinion "The rights of live-in care workers" (read here), which is the first policy document at European Union level to deal with this sector in Europe. The document explains that Poland provides much of the sector's workforce in western EU Member States, but has itself started to face a serious shortage of qualified carers in recent years.
According to the 18th principle of the European Pillar of Social Rights, everyone has the right to affordable long-term care services, in particular home-care and community-based services. However, participants pointed out that live-in care has long remained almost invisible to EU and Member State policy-makers, leaving the sector unregulated and highly fragmented, with both carers and care recipients in a vulnerable position. They also concurred that government support is crucial for securing high-quality services for care recipients and decent working conditions for caregivers, whose number is on the rise in the face of soaring demand for care services in Poland and elsewhere in Europe.
The meeting’s conclusions can be summed up in three main headings: regularisation, professionalisation and state support for live-in care work. These echoed the conclusions reached at the EESC's previous country visits to the UK, Germany and Italy, which were part of its ongoing consultation procedure on live-in care work in the EU. Next roundtable would be held in Sweden in September and the final conference, at which the results would be published, in Brussels in December.