Demand for Personal and Household Services (both care and non-care services) is growing rapidly in Europe, particularly in response to the ageing population. In fact, studies estimate that through increased development, sectors involved in PHS have the potential to create 5 million new jobs throughout Europe. However, domestic workers continue to be exposed to bad working conditions, exacerbated by a lack of state regulation and monitoring procedures at a local level.
As a result, the Advancing Personal and Household Services (Ad-PHS) Project aimed to create a common discursive framework around PHS among different actors in 21 EU Member States and engaged thus in a joint communication effort. In this context, the current state of the PHS sectors was recorded and compared for those member states, and gaps or loopholes were also identified in terms of protection and working conditions for the workers.
In order to support public authorities and other stakeholders in the development of PHS policies and activities, the Ad-PHS partners have elaborated a series of thematic guidelines covering key aspects of the working conditions of domestic workers and issued recommendations to be followed by public authorities which ensure that PHS workers are provided with the same rights and entitlements as other workers.
- Cooperatives which provide opportunities for PHS workers to proactively improve their working conditions should be supported.
- The involvement of social partners at an early stage in the design and management of social voucher programmes should be sought as to ensure that the instrument leads to an improvement of the workers’ working conditions and facilitate their work-life balance.
- Creating an environment conducive to social dialogue and sectoral collective bargaining is essential for ensuring decent wages and working conditions.
- PHS workers’ right to access professional trainings should be also further promoted.
- Develop a deeper understanding of employers’, workers’ and other stakeholders’ rights and obligations for ensuring better working conditions for domestic workers.