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Personal and household services to the benefit of a better work-life balance

On the 21st of February, a public hearing on work-life balance for parents and carers will be held by the Committee on Employment and Social Affairs in the European Parliament. Therefore, EFSI tackles the issue based on Eurofound's survey in its new edition of the "European Quality of Life Survey".

Work-life balance (WLB) is the ability of citizens to cope with everyday life tasks and family responsibilities. It relates to several aspects of a person's social life. As a general rule, WLB measures should be made available and accessible to all workers, be they parents of young children or teenagers as well as carers of older or disabled family members, and it should target men as much as women. WLB challenges may evolve over time but they last through the entire life course. 

Regarding the survey, the work-life balance dissatisfaction has been growing for both genders during the past decade, and women's integration into the labour market remains in certain case precarious even though their participation keeps on expanding across Europe, as it is shown by the constant increase of the female employment rate (from 62.2% in 2011 compared to 65.3% in 2016 according to Eurostat). Indeed, women continue to carry out most of the unpaid household and care work, with some of them appearing to be in a part-time employment. 

In general, for both men and women, the provision of PHS is necessary in a way that it allows citizens to outsource certain tasks in order to save time and work more hours than before by externalizing daily tasks made at home, and thereby enable women to re-enter the labour market. 

The infographic is available here.