Employers and workers jointly call on European Commission to recognise diversity of care workers

Brussels, 29 September 2022 – The European Care Strategy is at risk of excluding some of the most vulnerable frontline care workers. During a European Parliament event, employers and workers who provide personal and household care have emitted a joint call for the European Commission to correct this omission. They are supported by MEP Sirpa Pietikäinen, the European Parliament Rapporteur focussed on the sector.

Whilst welcoming the European Care Strategy, the key actors in personal and household care are together sounding the alarm on some of the finer details of the strategy as it stands. In particular, the distinction between domestic long-term care workers, home care workers and other domestic workers will have major implications for already highly vulnerable groups of essential workers.

This distinction would entrench inequalities in the sector and lay the foundations for a two-tier care workforce. Despite an analysis that is consistent with the realities observed by care actors on the ground, the European Commission’s proposal for the European Care Strategy fails to address the needs of personal and household carers, including undeclared workers and undocumented migrants.

Their call gathered significant support in the European Parliament. It aligns with the European Parliament’s 2022 INI Report, which indicated the need for the Commission to recognise the Personal and Household Services (PHS) sectors. This is a necessary step towards ensuring the availability and affordability of childcare services, long-term care services, as well as decent working conditions for all workers providing direct and indirect care services in the home of private individuals.

According to MEP Sirpa PIETIKÄINEN, co-rapporteur of the 2021/2253: “PHS workers are an invaluable part of the care services without whom the functioning of our care systems would be in danger. The vast majority of PHS workers are women, which makes this a gender issue as well. To improve PHS workers’ situation, we need a clear definition of their work and decent pay for all carers in the sector.”

PHS partners sealed their commitment towards increased recognition for the PHS sectors by adopting a common work programme for 2022-2023 and recognizing each other as social partners on 10 March 2022. The European Care Strategy is of course one of their main priorities

PHS Social partners Join Statement on the EU Care Strategy 

 For further information you can contact:

EFFAT            Grace Papa, g.papa@effat.org, +32 488 56 46 56
EFFE              Aude Boisseuil, aude.boisseuil@effe-homecare.eu, +33 6 26 08 21 66
EFSI                Aurélie Decker, aurelie.decker@efsi-europe.eu, +32 473 66 48 69
UNI-Europa     Mark Bergfeld, mark.bergfeld@uniglobalunion.org, +32 473 82 74 22


EFFAT is the European Federation of Food, Agriculture and Tourism Trade Unions. As a European Trade Union Federation representing 120 national trade unions from 35 European countries, EFFAT defends the interests of more than 22 million workers employed along the food chain. EFFAT is a member of the ETUC and the European regional organisation of the IUF.

EFFE, the European Federation for Family Employment & Homecare, represents the interests of national stakeholders including social partners organisations (workers and employers) operating in the field of direct employment. This model is characterised by a contractual work relationship between two private individuals, without any trading or profit-making objective.

EFSI, the European Federation for Services to Individuals, is the voice of the Personal and Household Services industry at European level, representing national associations, employers’ organisations, PHS providers and companies involved in the development of personal and household services, and currently operating in 21 EU Member States.

UNI-Europa is the European Trade Union Federation for 7 million service workers. It speaks for the sectors that constitute the backbone of economic and social life in Europe. Headquartered in the heart of Brussels, UNI Europa represents 272 national trade unions in 50 countries, including: Commerce, Banking Insurance and Central Banks, Gaming, Graphical and Packaging, Hair and Beauty, Information and Communication Technology Services, Media, Entertainment and Arts, Postal Services and Logistics, Private Care and Social Insurance, Industrial Cleaning and Private Security, Professional Sport and Leisure, Professionals/Managers and Temporary Agency Workers.