Private Labour Market Intermediaries in the evolving market for live-in migrant care work between Germany and Poland
7 December 2020
Professor Simeone Leiber, University of Duisburg, Essen
This presentation deals with private companies involved in organizing so-called live-in care arrangements between EU member states, with a particular focus on Germany and Poland. Due to gaps of the public long-term care system, employing live-in migrant care workers in private households has become a widespread individual solution for growing long-term care needs in Germany. Since eastern EU enlargement, private brokerage agencies placing Polish live-in migrant care workers in German households have grown considerably. The analysis presents so far unique data of the field by combining an online survey among brokerage agencies with semi-structured qualitative expert interviews with agency heads and other political stakeholders.
Building on approaches conceptualising the role of intermediaries in formalising domestic work, this research aims to provide a more fine-grained typology of private brokerage agencies, taking into account not only the legal environment and structural features of these private enterprises, but also their strategic positioning under conditions of high legal uncertainty in the EU multi-level governance system. By analysing corporate as well as political strategies of these intermediaries, we distinguish three different agency types we call pioneers, minimum effort players and followers.
Simone Leiber is professor for social policy at the University of Duisburg-Essen in Germany. She has been a doctoral and postdoctoral researcher at the Max-Planck-Institute for the Studies of Societies, Cologne, and senior researcher at the Institute of Economic and Social Research at the Hans Böckler Foundation – a research institute funded by German labour unions. Her research interests are: comparative welfare state research with a particular focus on care polices.