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Combining paid work and family care

Combining paid work and family care: Policies and experiences in international perspective

Teppo Kröger
Sue Yeandle
Copyright Date: 2013
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  • Book Info
    Combining paid work and family care
    Book Description:

    As populations age around the world, increasing efforts are required from both families and governments to secure care and support for older and disabled people.At the same time both women and men are expected to increase and lengthen their participation in paid work, which makes combining caring and working a burning issue for social and employment policy and economic sustainability. International discussion about the reconciliation of work and care has previously focused mostly on childcare. Combining paid work and family care widens the debate, bringing into discussion the experiences of those providing support to their partners, older relatives and disabled or seriously ill children. The book analyses the situations of these working carers in Nordic, liberal and East Asian welfare systems. Highlighting what can be learned from individual experiences, the book analyses the changing welfare and labour market policies which shape the lives of working carers in Finland, Sweden, Australia, England, Japan and Taiwan.

    eISBN: 978-1-4473-0683-2
    Subjects: Political Science

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-ii)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. iii-iv)
  3. List of tables
    (pp. v-v)
  4. List of abbreviations
    (pp. vi-vii)
  5. Notes on contributors
    (pp. viii-xiii)
  6. Acknowledgements
    (pp. xiv-xiv)
    Teppo Kröger and Sue Yeandle
  7. Introduction

    • ONE Reconciling work and care: an international analysis
      (pp. 3-22)
      Teppo Kröger and Sue Yeandle

      In recent decades, the reconciliation of work and family life has become a key focus in social research and policymaking at both national and European levels. Thanks to the altered gender composition of the labour force and a new feminist-inspired understanding of the interconnections between work and family, many policymakers no longer see the public sphere of paid work and the private sphere of family life as two separate worlds. A long-standing resistance to any kind of intervention in family life in many welfare states, including most English-speaking and East Asian countries, has given way to new policy approaches addressing...

    • TWO The emergence of policy supporting working carers: developments in six countries
      (pp. 23-50)
      Sue Yeandle, Teppo Kröger, Bettina Cass, Yueh-Ching Chou, Masaya Shimmei and Marta Szebehely

      This chapter presents the key features of the welfare state and policy context, as they affect carers, for each of the six nations included in the book – Australia and England, Finland and Sweden, and Japan and Taiwan – providing a point of reference for readers of later chapters. Outlining similarities and differences between the six countries, the chapter presents an overview of how carers and the support they may need have been conceptualised in the public policy sphere in three welfare systems (referred to in this book, as already explained, as ‘liberal-democratic’, Nordic and East Asian welfare systems).

      Chapter Onehas...

  8. Part One: Working carers of older people

    • THREE Family rediscovered? Working carers of older people in Finland and Sweden
      (pp. 53-70)
      Outi Jolanki, Marta Szebehely and Kaisa Kauppinen

      In this chapter, we draw together knowledge on employment legislation and payments to working carers with studies on family care of older people. The chapter focuses on adult children and other family members who care for older people in Finland and Sweden. As discussed in previous chapters, carers in general and working carers in particular have only recently become a policy issue in the Nordic countries. However, as we have also seen, the lack of political interest does not reflect a lack of actual care provided by family members. The characteristics and situations of working carers are somewhat uncharted territory...

    • FOUR Working carers of older people: steps towards securing adequate support in Australia and England?
      (pp. 71-88)
      Sue Yeandle and Bettina Cass

      This chapter focuses on older people who need care in Australia and England, liberal democracies in which the state has long recognised some responsibility for older people’s welfare, introducing ‘old age’ pensions (from 1908) and allocating some public funds to provide residential care, home care and local community services for sick, frail or disabled older people.

      The limited public eldercare services developed in England after 1945 were initially delivered by public sector employees: social workers, residential care staff, ‘home helps’ and community health workers. Services for older people in Australia, developed from the colonial period onwards by voluntary societies and...

    • FIVE Struggling for recognition: working carers of older people in Japan and Taiwan
      (pp. 89-104)
      Frank T.Y. Wang, Masaya Shimmei, Yoshiko Yamada and Machiko Osawa

      This chapter considers the situation of working carers of older parents in Taiwan and Japan. Both countries are deeply influenced by Confucian thinking, which views the care of older people as a family responsibility and frames care as an invisible, private and family issue rather than a public matter. The chapter explores similarities and differences in these countries’ changing systems of care for older people and analyses the processes involved in securing carers’ rights through a struggle between the state and the women’s movement in which shifting carer subjectivities are shaped by discourses of rights and duties.

      These countries’ similar...

  9. Part Two: Working parent-carers of disabled children

    • SIX Parent-carers of disabled children in Finland and Sweden: socially excluded by a labour of love?
      (pp. 107-124)
      Sonja Miettinen, Kristina Engwall and Antti Teittinen

      One feminist definition of care is ‘a labour of love’ (Graham, 1983: 13).This nicely captures the nature of caring as work that is both infused with and concealed by the emotional bond that exists between those in a care relationship, especially when that care is given to a disabled son or daughter. In this chapter, we shed light on the lived realities of being a parent-carer,¹ in which care is experienced as gratifying yet demanding work, and explore how this work affects parents’ employment careers and lives in Finland and Sweden.

      Who performs care work and on what terms are...

    • SEVEN Reconciling work and care for parent-carers of disabled children in Australia and England: uncertain progress
      (pp. 125-142)
      Sue Yeandle and kylie valentine

      In both Australia and England, the needs of families with a sick or disabled child are recognised and addressed in legislation and in national health, care and education systems. Relevant policy frameworks and support measures, which continue to develop and change, have been put in place over several decades (HMT and DES, 2007; Broach et al, 2010) and both countries have made disability discrimination illegal (including in education and social support systems). Each has policies designed to meet the additional educational needs of children with a disability, and offers financial support that parent-carers may claim. Yet, in both countries, many...

    • EIGHT Parent-carers in Taiwan and Japan: lifelong caring responsibilities within a familistic welfare system
      (pp. 143-160)
      Yueh-Ching Chou, Toshiko Nakano, Heng-Hao Chang and Li-Fang Liang

      In East Asia, caring for children, frail older people and people with disabilities has long been seen primarily as a family responsibility. As discussed inChapter Two, however, Japan and Taiwan are currently experiencing extremely low birth rates and both countries have initiated paid parental leave policies as one measure to address this. In addition, Japan has the highest percentage of older people in the world (23% of its population), while in Taiwan, the percentage of older people is also set to rise dramatically, from 11% in 2010 to an anticipated 24% by 2030 (seeChapter One). In both countries,...

  10. Part Three: Working partner-carers

    • NINE Reconciling partner-care and paid work in Finland and Sweden: challenges and coping strategies
      (pp. 163-182)
      Anu Leinonen and Ann-Britt Sand

      In Finland, among caregiving paid workers aged 44 to 63, 3% of women and 4% of men reported having care responsibility for their partner in 2009 (Kauppinen and Jolanki, 2012). In Sweden, no exact figures on the numbers of working partner-carers are collected. Numbers of carers and informal helpers are largest among middle-aged women and adult daughters in both countries (seeChapter One), although among retired couples, both women and men often care for their partners (Szebehely, 2005a, 2005b; Voutilainen et al, 2007; Kattainen et al, 2008).

      In research and policy debate in Finland and Sweden, the circumstances of working...

    • TEN ‘In sickness and in health’ and beyond: reconciling work and care for a partner in Australia and England
      (pp. 183-200)
      Gary Fry, Cathy Thomson and Trish Hill

      This chapter examines the issue of combining paid work with the care of a disabled or seriously ill partner in England and Australia. It begins by outlining the prevalence and characteristics of partner-carers of working age in each country, using survey data on their demographic characteristics, participation in paid employment, the services and welfare benefits they access, their reasons for leaving paid work, and their future employment plans. Case studies are then used to illustrate the challenges faced by partner-carers in trying to reconcile their caring and employment roles in the English and Australian contexts, and recent policy developments in...

    • ELEVEN Partner-care in the East Asian system: combining paid work and caring in Japan and Taiwan
      (pp. 201-216)
      Mei-Chun Liu and Machiko Osawa

      Although partner-care is one of the main types of caring in Japan and Taiwan, it has received less research attention than other forms of caring. In both countries, a rapidly ageing population and a sharply decreasing birth rate pose challenges for care systems that have long been and remain primarily family-based. Working-age partners with dual work and caring roles often encounter real hardship. This chapter examines their current situation and the challenges they face, using case examples from qualitative research from both countries to exemplify inadequacies in the present system and the urgency of overhauling current arrangements.

      In Japan, caring...

  11. Conclusions

    • TWELVE Reconciling work and care for older parents, disabled children and partners: convergent or separate paths in three welfare systems?
      (pp. 219-240)
      Sue Yeandle and Teppo Kröger

      This book, while not the first to address the reconciliation of paid work and the care of older, sick or disabled people in an international context, offers an updated and extended perspective on an issue whose importance is increasingly recognised around the world. The book is characterised by three features: (1) the distinction it makes between caring in three different relational contexts; (2) its focus on the influence of carers’ organisations as well as of demography and labour force participation; and (3) its coverage of Nordic, liberal-democratic and East Asian societies. It aims to offer readers insights into the personal...

  12. Index
    (pp. 241-250)