As people take to their homes to contain the Covid-19 pandemic, workers who provide personal and household services (PHS) are experiencing a major upheaval. Many of these home care and domestic workers are facing contagion exposure, job and income insecurity and lack of guidance among other issues. UNI Europa has been working together with EFFAT, EFFE and EFSI to outline solutions to mitigate the danger in this time of need.
“These frontline heroes are putting in the work that people rely on to keep going. It took a crisis to reveal to everyone just how essential that is. Now we must act and it is truly inspiring to see that we are able to work together with employers who recognise the scale of the issues we face.
“Together we know what is needed and we know how to make it happen. We’ve outlined the steps to take. We will continue to do our part but there is a clear need for European and national authorities to step up the support for this all too often neglected workforce,” said Oliver Roethig, Regional Secretary of UNI Europa.
There are 8 million formal personal and household care workers in the EU and at least as many working undeclared. They provide care-related services in people’s homes such as childcare, care for older people and people with disabilities (approximately 60% of PHS activities) as well as household support services such as cleaning, ironing, home repairs, gardening, etc. (approximately 40% of PHS activities).
The joint statement outlines key measures for public authorities to ensure that best practice can be brought to personal and household services. Workers and employers call on them to step up safety guidance, personal protective equipment, job and income security, sick leave and healthcare access for those undertaking these crucial tasks. These measures are particularly important given that, in light of the Covid-19 crisis, PHS could become one of the largest job growth areas as millions of people will be looking for work in the aftermath of Covid-19.
Read the joint statement here: