Informal Reproductive Work: Trends in Slovenia and EU

Domestic work has a long history in the past and today it is at the crossroad of important themes for  the European Union, such as informal work, unemployment, ageing of population, (feminisation of) migration, global and class inequalities, citizenship, gender (in)equality and work/family balance, the relationship between family and state etc.. Contemporary domestic work simultaneously exposes deep contradictions within the European societies while underscoring the invisibility of contemporary domestic workers, their limited access to basic workers’ and human rights and the European spirit of  democracy and equality between people. The project proposal distinguishes itself from present researches that are dealing with contemporary paid domestic work in two ways: it focuses on informal paid domestic work in Slovenia, which, in comparison with other EU countries except Eastern ones, has not yet been systematically surveyed; the project intention is not to focus exclusively on migrant domestic workers; which is the case with majority of present studies, but to include in survey the indigenous domestic workers and their experiences as well. Three main aspects of the informal domestic work in the project proposal include child care, elderly care and housekeeping.

The main question in the project relates to both, the demand and the supply side: what explains the contemporary growing supply and demand in the field of informal paid domestic work in Slovenia and in EU in general? With quantitative and qualitative survey of supply and demand in domestic work in Slovenia; with  conceptualization of contradictions in current social and policy developments; and with the critical assessment of the potentials and strategies for regulation the area of paid domestic work within the field of social economy, the project will bring about improving the research and policy state of the art in the field of contemporary informal paid domestic work as well as provide knowledge that will support employment, social inclusion, social cohesion and equality policies.

Project leader: Majda Hrženjak
Project coworkers: Mojca Pajnik, Živa Humer and Roman Kuhar