EPRS Admin By / September 7, 2022

Potential benefits of EU action in the care sector

Potential benefits of EU action in the care sector

A comprehensive EU approach to tackling the vicious cycle could promote upward convergence across and within the Member States, gender equality, more productivity and a higher gross domestic product (GDP) (Figure 5). The potential benefits would derive from:
a greater realisation of women’s labour market potential. EU action to foster the ‘equal earner – equal carer model’ could support women in transitioning from unemployment to employment, and from part-time to full-time employment. Assuming that these shifts reduce the care penalty on women (as a result of male/female employment gaps on the labour market) by 10 % to 20 %, benefits of between €24 billion and €48 billion per year could be generated for society. Horizontal and vertical segregation may also diminish over time because of women’s and men’s shifts on the labour market.
more and better jobs in the care sector. EU action to modernise and regulate the care sector could generate jobs to better address unmet needs, particularly for childcare and long-term care. Moreover, this action could reduce the prevalence of undeclared work, and exploitation and abuse of workers, thus improving the quality of service provision. Measures to ensure that half of overall care needs are met could generate benefits of between €68 billion and €96 billion each year.
more affordable and quality care. Reducing unmet needs could also boost autonomy and independence for the elderly and children’s cognitive development. An extensive body of research shows the cognitive benefits of institutional childcare, which can lead to a potential for higher earnings in adulthood. Meeting half of unmet needs for childcare among children up to three years of age could generate benefits up to between €22 billion and €64 billion per year.

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