Beyond Applause? Improving Working Conditions in Long-Term Care

image of Beyond Applause? Improving Working Conditions in Long-Term Care

This report presents an in-depth cross-country analysis of how long-term care workers fare along the different dimensions of job quality. In the initial stages of the COVID-19 pandemic, the applause for care workers was a clear expression of the strong recognition of their hard work and exposure to risks in their job. However, as the applause faded after the peak of the crisis, questions have re-emerged about how to improve the working conditions of long-term care workers in a sustainable way. Over the coming decades, the demand for these workers will increase substantially. Several countries are already facing shortages as the large baby-boom generation joins the older population.

To go Beyond Applause, a comprehensive policy strategy is needed to tackle poor working conditions and insufficient social recognition of long-term care work, attract workers in the sector and avoid labour shortages reaching unacceptable levels. Such a strategy should cover several dimensions, with different priorities across countries depending on their specific context, including: direct interventions to raise wages and increase staff requirements; increasing public financing and fostering the leading role by governments; supporting collective bargaining and social dialogue; strengthening training; increasing use of new technologies; and, strengthening health prevention policies.

English Also available in: French

Beyond Applause? Improving working conditions in long-term care: An overview

This introductory chapter gives an overview of the entire publication drawing on analyses carried out in the other chapters, and discusses policy implications. It documents the past evolution of employment in long-term care and projects demand for long-term care workers, which highlights the risk of substantial shortages over the next decades. The chapter flags tough working conditions for long-term care workers, including high physical and mental health risks, low wages in particular for personal care workers and a lack of recognition of both the workers and their competences. It discusses why wages have remained low despite persistent labour shortages in the sector. The chapter concludes with policy measures to improve working conditions and mitigate shortages in long-term care.



This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error