Home employment

Home employment

Home employment can be defined as a direct and legal employment relationship between two individuals taking place in a household.

The European Federation for Family Employment and Home Care (EFFE) is one of the main actors of the personal and household services (PHS) sector at EU level. According to the EU definition, PHS refer to a large range of activities which contribute to the well-being at home of families and individuals: child-care, long term care for the elderly and for persons with disabilities, housekeeping, educational support, home repairs, gardening, ICT support, etc.

With more than 18 million workers across the EU, representing 4% of total employment, this is a key sector for the European economy. Nevertheless, the European Commission estimates that 50 to 70% of the jobs covered by the term “PHS” are undeclared, meaning that around 10 million workers do not benefit from social rights. The lack of political framework of the sector, first at European level, then in the Member States, strengthens inequalities and the exclusion of vulnerable populations. This becomes particularly visible in terms of job and social protection access for women and migrants, and regarding the care of the elderly or people with disabilities.

EFFE specifically strives for the recognition and the development of the direct employment model (also called home or family employment). The Federation gathers stakeholders operating at the local, national and European level, such as social partner organisations from both workers and employers’ perspectives. Direct employment is a contractual work relationship between two private individuals, without any trading or profit-making objective.

This declared model is based on mutual trust, cooperation between employers and employees and aims to guarantee social protection in the broader sense (retirement, unemployment, training, etc.) to all domestic workers. Besides, it provides and efficient response to the reconciliation of work and family life by giving European households the possibility to entrust declared and paid domestic workers taking on care and non-care tasks. If well-structured and supported by Member States, i.e. if support systems are implemented to guarantee declared work (administrative simplification through declarative digital platforms and the solvency of employers through tax credit or tax deduction systems), it also provides realistic solutions to women’s overwork situations and avoids their partial or total disengagement from the labour market.


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