Home Care Digital Platforms and Industrial relations – ORIGAMI

The demand of “Personal and Household Services” (PHS) – which covers a broad range of activities that contribute to the well-being of families and individuals at home – has significantly increased and so too has the role of care workers. Employment in the home care sector is characterized by a high level of informality, a significant presence of a migrant and female workforce, low visibility of their work, which is often done in private spaces, and weak associational power. Following the growth in demand, the public offer of services is not adequate to meet it, leaving extensive room for private actors to manoeuvre within a newly marketized regime of long-term care delivery. The increased level of marketisation and privatisation of the sector, the fragility of working conditions and the growing complexity of social needs to be answered have contributed to deeply redesign the welfare systems in the different models of capitalism. The emergence of digital platforms represents a new driving force that is intertwined with these processes. Digital platforms, as novel forms of organization, act as private regulators, creating their own institutional and societal embeddedness.

This project analyses the role of digital platforms in the ongoing transformations of the home care sector, identifying the specificities of their organizational model with respect to both traditional organizations in the sector and platforms present in other sectors, the consequences on working conditions, the needs for social protection and representation of interests, and the innovative strategies of social actors to respond to these needs.

The research is carried out in Denmark, France, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands.

Start date: 01/11/2023
Finish date: 31/10/2025
Funding: DG Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion, EUROPEAN COMMISSION
Reference: GA no. 101126007 — ORIGAMI
Principal investigator: Oscar Molina (Spanish team); project coordinator: Ivana Pais, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore – UCSC
Team: Alejandro Godino


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