- Project status
- Michael Leiblfinger
- Host institution
- Johannes Kepler University Linz (AT), University of Zurich (CH), Goethe University Frankfurt (DE)
- Team members
- Michael Leiblfinger, Veronika Prieler, Karin Schwiter, Jennifer Steiner, Aranka Benazha, Helma Lutz
- Funding information (if funded)
- This research is part of the of the project Decent Care Work? Transnational Home Care Arrangements, a cooperation of Aranka Benazha, Amanda Glanert, Helma Lutz, Iga Obrocka, and Ewa Palenga-Möllenbeck from Goethe University Frankfurt/Germany; Brigitte Aulenbacher, Michael Leiblfinger, and Veronika Prieler from Johannes Kepler University Linz/Austria; and Karin Schwiter, Jennifer Steiner, and Anahi Villalba from the University of Zurich/Switzerland. The project is funded by the German Research Foundation DFG, project no. LU 630/14-1, by the Austrian Science Fund FWF, project no. I 3145 G-29, and by the Swiss National Science Foundation SNSF, project no. 170353. http://decentcarework.net
- Project Summary
Context: The measures taken to counter the COVID-19 pandemic restricted the circular migration of live-in care workers between their countries of origin and the elderly persons’ households.
Objective: In this comparative policy analysis, the impact of COVID-19 related policy measures for transnationally organised live-in care in Austria, Germany, and Switzerland is investigated.
Method: Policy measures and media debates were analysed and inquiries with care workers, representatives of care agencies, unions, and activist groups were carried out between March and June 2020.
Findings: In accordance with their institutionalisation of live-in care, Austria, Germany, and Switzerland responded differently to the challenges the pandemic posed to live-in care arrangements. However, all three countries focused on extending care workers’ rotas and re-establishing transnational mobility. These priorities subordinated the interests of care workers to those of care recipients. Furthermore, the measures remained short-term solutions that failed to acknowledge the fundamental flaws and inequalities of a care model that relies primarily on female migrant workers and wage differentials within Europe.
Limitations: This policy comparison is based on an in-depth analysis of COVID-19 related policies, supplemented by inquiries among stakeholders with whom research had been done prior to the pandemic. More in-depth interviews are required to further substantiate the findings concerning their perspectives and gain insight into the longer-term effects of the pandemic.
Implications: The pandemic has brought the flaws of the live-in care model to the fore. Countries need to rethink their fragile care policies, which build on social inequality and uninhibited transnational mobility.
- Outputs / Expected Outputs
Paper and presentations
- Project website
- Austria | Germany | Switzerland
- Care setting
- Community-based care/care at home
- Funding type
- Intervention types
- Measures to support staff and unpaid carers | Other measures to support staff and unpaid carers
- Policy analysis
- Staff working in long-term care