Employment, Social Affairs & Inclusion

News 03/12/2020

Peer Review on “Work-life balance: promoting gender equality in informal long-term care provision”, 3-4 December 2020

This Peer Review explored challenges and good practices of gender equality in informal long-term care provision.

The German Federal Ministry for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth hosted experts from the Czech Republic, Malta, Portugal, Slovenia, Spain, France and Latvia. In addition, representatives from the European Commission, as well as a thematic expert put the topic in the wider context of EU policy.


Despite legislative measures to promote gender equality and to enhance balancing employment and care responsibilities, most informal care givers are women across the European Union. Moreover, increased female labour market participation is not accompanied by a more balanced sharing of domestic and caregiving work between women and men.

The Peer Review examined whether Germany is on the way towards a more gender-egalitarian division of family care and paid work. Therefore, the past and current situation of working-age family care givers was examined: how important are working-age women and men for upholding the provision of care for the ill, disabled or elderly? How has working-age family caregivers’ employment situation changed over time? Finally, are family caregivers able to reconcile family care and paid work? 

The event also reviewed German measures to reduce differences in care responsibilities between men and women. The event focused on policies that aim at a better work-life balance between work and care responsibilities, such as flexible working arrangements (telework, flexitime, reduced working hours or job sharing), support measures and care leave arrangements. In Germany, employees are given more time, flexibility and security so that they can care for their relatives and stay in employment. The Caregiver Leave Act (Pflegezeitgesetz, 2008) and Family Caregiver Leave Act (Familienpflegezeitgesetz, 2012) were further enhanced in 2015. These two laws provide the legal framework for Germany's care leave policies. However, most informal care givers in Germany continue to be women (about 70%).

In addition, the Peer Review discussed company culture and measures by employers to promote an equal sharing of care responsibilities.

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