The professionalization of home jobs in Europe requires the introduction of European trainings, harmonised at European level and in accordance with the criteria of the European Qualification Framework (EQF). It would enable the mobility of domestic housekeepers and their skills throughout Europe, according to the conclusions of the final conference of the European PRODOME project, coordinated by IPERIA l’Institut, the national platform for the professionalization of home employment in France for 25 years.
The PRODOME project, funded by the Erasmus+ programme, which brings together French partners – including the Fédération des Particuliers Employeurs de France (FEPEM) and IPERIA – from Italy and Spain, but also the European Federation of Family Employment (EFFE), is part of the European strategy to promote skills development.
Experienced in Bologna and Madrid, the PRODOME training has proved to be successful. “Based on nine modules for a total volume of 300 hours, this training is the first step in the recognition and professionalization of the family employee profession in Europe. The training content is deliberately ambitious and exhaustive,” explained Gloria Ortiz, head of the European Projects and Partnerships department at IPERIA l’Institut.
The aim of the project was to create a real sector of professional activity, based on jobs and qualifications, integrating workers from the home employment sector – often from migrant backgrounds – into a professional dynamic to acquire skills, recognition, career security and social protection. It has proved its usefulness since it has enabled a majority of trainees to find work or acquire new skills necessary for the job they already held.
“The professionalization of domestic housekeepers is absolutely necessary: from the employees ‘point of view, to foster the acquisition of skills and the prevention of occupational risks; from the p employing families’ point of view, because it guarantees the quality of work; from the territories’ point of view, which are seeking solutions to support families in their daily lives. The professionalization of these socially useful jobs is a necessary condition for tackling the major challenges of demographic ageing and the massive participation of women in the labour market. The issue is also ethical, since it is a lever to give these workers access to social rights and decent work,” commented Marie Béatrice LEVAUX, President of both FEPEM and EFFE.
However, everything needs to be done at the European level to ensure that the acknowledgement of the social usefulness of these jobs is recognised and that they are professionalized and secured. According to the estimation, we count around 16 million of domestic housekeepers within the EU, however, only half of them are reported.
“The challenge is to implement policies supporting declared work, like in France, because declared work is the only way to provide access to real social protection and enable the professional branches of the home employment sector to build an ambitious policy of professionalization. The EFFE mentioned concrete proposals to this end in its White Paper ˝Home & family employment and home care in the European Union”, added Marie Béatrice LEVAUX.
“Both the professionalization of home jobs and the implementation of a European household employers’ statute are essential to guarantee equal social protection for employees and security for employers. This is the right application of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, the basis of social Europe! “said Elisabeth Morin-Chartier, former Quaestor and Member of the European Parliament and member of the High Council for Equality between Women and Men.