Work-life balance measures for persons of working age with dependent relatives
A study of national policies 2016 - Study
The present Synthesis Report addresses the work-life balance of carers of dependent persons by examining three main social policy arrangements: leave schemes, cash benefits and benefits in kind. To this end, the 35 ESPN Country Teams provided, first, a brief description of the main features of their national long-term care (LTC) systems and, secondly, an assessment of the implementation of the aforementioned policy arrangements. Particular attention was given to the coverage and take-up of benefits, the impact of work-life balance policies on the employment situation of caregivers and on the... well-being of the carers (mostly female relatives) and cared-for persons. It is important to state from the start that the provisions to the dependent person represent the cornerstone of all national LTC systems and too little attention has been paid to the role of the carer. The support arrangements for carers depend on four main features of national LTC systems: the scope of the LTC arrangements (whether or not provisions exist to improve the carer’s work-life balance situation), the institutional settings (e.g. fragmentation between health and social assistance provisions), the level of governance (the state entity providing benefits and services) and the significance of previous and ongoing reforms. The assessment of the effectiveness of support arrangements for carers is very challenging because of the lack of evidence available to support this assessment: data are often inaccurate or even missing. As a result of the scarce attention paid to the role of the carer in national LTC policies, very little is known about coverage, non-take-up and the impact of LTC benefits on well-being of the carers and cared for persons. Notwithstanding these limitations, the ESPN Country Teams managed to provide substantial evidence concerning the employment and well-being effects of a wide range of benefits.