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On 11 October 2010 the „Carers@Work“-team will organise a workshop to present the first outcomes of their research. This event aims to bring together scientists, practitioner, representatives from trade unions and politicians to discuss conflicts, strategies and effective measures for reconciling work and care.
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Between Job and Care: Conflict or Opportunity?

A Strategy for Securing Sustainable Future Care and Productivity Potentials in an Ageing Society - A European Comparison

Population ageing in the EU challenge profoundly the current balance between older and younger generations. Europe is responding with policies to promote active ageing (i.e. later retirement), intergenerational solidarity (i.e. family care), and equal (gender) opportunities, but these ideals may conflict in midlife when needs of older parents can be hard to reconcile with paid work.

The topic of reconciliation of employment and family care is highly relevant for future societies undergoing socio-demographic change since it affects the future working environment as much as the future provision of care for older people – both areas facing particularly serious challenges in the future. An EU-wide reconciliation of employment and family care would contribute to both maintaining and strengthening the employability of an ageing workforce and securing the provision of care at times of rising numbers of older people. The more EU-enterprises develop good solutions, for example, in regard to work organisation and working time, the more likely are contributions to societal innovations, to competitiveness and to productivity in ageing societies. In addition, the life for family carers and those they care for can be improved in a sustainable way.

The aim of the project is to show that reconciliation of employment and family care is possible if accompanied by support measures at enterprise and social policy levels. Thus, a forward-looking and sustainable care provision can be guaranteed in an ageing society, and new productivity potentials in the form of highly motivated employees can be made accessible. Therefore this research compares individual- and enterprise-based reconciliation strategies in four European countries (Germany, United Kingdom, Italy, Poland). The project targets to

The project is funded by the Volkswagen Foundation within the application "Individual und societal perspectives of aging".