Right to Request “Decent” Work for Working Caregivers ?

Wednesday, 13 July 2016: 09:00
Location: Hörsaal 5A G (Neues Institutsgebäude (NIG))
Oral Presentation
Diane-Gabrielle TREMBLAY, University of Québec - Téluq, Canada
In our aging societies, more and more people are called upon to offer support to aging parents. This is often a very time consuming activity and over time this often requires that these caregivers reduce their working time and in some cases leave the labor market altogether.  Our paper will present results from a research on caregivers, starting with a portrait of these persons. We will then present what firms offer them in terms of working time arrangements; we conclude that is insufficient and often leads these caregivers, especially women, to reduce their hours or leave the labor market. We will then move on to a measure which could be considered in order to help these working caregivers have a more “decent” situation in terms of their working life, and work-life balance. While the "Right to request flexible working arrangements" is the object of debate, it may be interesting. This measure originated in Britain, in the 2002 Employment Act, which gave parents the possibility to engage procedures in order to obtain a flexible working time arrangement. From 2007 on, this right was extended to workers having to take care of a dependent adult, which is more often women than men. This model has been adopted in other states, particularly in Australia and New-Zealand.  While it is not clear this is the ideal solution for caregivers, we will ask the question as to whether "Right to request" should be extended to other countries and if so, in what form. Indeed, there has been a debate on whether this right should be reserved for caregivers or open to all workers, parents, caregivers and others. The “Right to Request”, if positive answers are given to the caregivers demands, may appear a more realistic solution than Citizenship Income, at least in the medium term.