On the Corona Frontline: The Experiences of Elder Care Workers in Europe

The corona pandemic has played out differently in Europe so far. However, one common denominator is that the virus has hit the elderly hard, and particularly those in elderly care. Several countries – like Sweden, the UK, and Spain – have seen devastating death tolls in elder care homes.

There are urgent lessons to be drawn, and not only national ones. How can we protect our elderly and improve the quality of care? What needs to be improved to secure good working conditions for elder care staff during these extreme circumstances, but also for a sustainable care situation in the long run?

With a report series, the Swedish Municipal Workers’ Union (Kommunal) in co-operation with the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung and the progressive think tank Arena Idé want to map how the elderly care sector (both residential homes and the home care sector) was affected by the spread of the corona virus in a selection of countries. The report series will highlight and spread the trade union perspective on the corona pandemic and elderly care.

How well prepared was the sector in the respective countries, what impact did the structure of the elderly care sector have? What conclusions can be drawn for the execution and organization of elderly care in the future? What is the perspective of the trade unions who organise employees in the elderly care sector? What role could trade unions play?

The country-reports from Germany, Sweden, Norway, Finland, Denmark, Spain, Scotland, England, Portugal and Greece will be released in the beginning of 2021.

Country, Author (Local partner organisations)

Charlotte Bredal (FOA)
Gerry Mitchell (FES GB)
Sari Backlund (JHL)
Hildegard Theobald (Ver.Di, FES WISO)
Anne-Mari Samskott, Ingvar Skjerve (Fagforbundet)
Ana Catarina Fontes (FES Portugal)
Dave Watson (FES GB)
Manuel Pereira-Puga and Jorge José Hernández Moreno (UGT, Comisiones Obreras, FES Spain, Fundación Alternativas)
Mari Huupponen (Kommunal)

"On the corona frontline" is a cooperation with the Swedish Municipal Workers’ Union Kommunal  and the progressive think tank Arena Idé.

FES Nordic Countries

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