Slovenia experiences an expansion of care work in grey economy filling the gaps of public care facilities. While research show that families across EU compensate for care deficit by outsourcing care to migrant workers, in Slovenia local women, including second and third generation of migrants from former Yugoslavia prevail in home-based care, particular in elder care. In contrast, the area of cleaning private households, low valued and labour intensive work, is open to recent female migrants. Another peculiarity of Slovenia is the prevalence of live-out work arrangements which can be explained by high rate of local women performing care work. This chapter based on individual interviews with care workers in grey economy analyses how care work affects care workers’ resources for balancing family and work life, and compares experiences of local and migrant care workers.
Based on policy analysis and individual interviews, the author analyzes the care workers' precarious situations in home-based elder care in Slovenia, a post-socialist, European Union country characterized by a rapidly aging population and delays in adapting a long-term care system to this new social risk. Employment and quasi-employment positions which coexist in home-based care can be sorted along two continuums: between public and market service; between formal and informal work. The author argues that working conditions in home-based care differ according to the position of the care worker on these two continuums, that is, being employed in public services, being self-employed, working in informal care markets, holding a status of family assistant, or being an informal family caregiver. Although the working conditions in public services are deteriorating, the analysis shows that precarity is more severe in market and informal care, while formalization and socialization of care bring about less precarious conditions.
The central theme of the article is the family assistant in Slovenia. The service was introduced in the legislation in 2004. The main research question is how policy framework influences a distribution of care in the family and what the implications of financial arrangements for carers are. A qualitative methodology was used, within data gathered through interviews that took place in the second half of 2015. The main results show that the service is gendered and that it contributes to the re-domestication of women and forces them out of the paid labour market. The social organisation of care is gender-blind and thus gender-biased, and as such influences precarious life courses.
This article examines how family and care policies related to childcare frame formal and informal care, including the status of work and positions of workers who perform unregulated childcare in private households in Slovenia. Within the conceptual frame of (de)familization of childcare, current childcare policies in Slovenia are analyzed and the peculiarities of the Slovenian situation compared to other Central and Eastern European countries are pointed to: an informal childcare market characterized by live-out arrangements and high standards of individual childcare, performed by native retired women and students. The empirical material analyzed in the article incorporates results from two qualitative studies conducted in Slovenia researching informal paid care work and the processes of the relocation of childcare, focusing particularly on the intersections of informal (both paid and unpaid) and formal childcare.
Public debate about the new pension reform which is to be adopted in 2020 and among others proposes equalization of men and women in conditions for retirement is currently going on in Slovenia. The article is based on the assumption that gender represents an important analytical category in exploring economic inequalities and social policies. The author discusses a high gender based pension gap in the EU and in Slovenia as the consequence of the persisting structural inequalities of women at the labour market and in unpaid care work. From this perspective the abolishment of positive measures for women in the pension system seems to be highly problematic.