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Personal and household services: inclusion of workers and job opportunities within the formal economy

March 28th 2013 - Radisson Blu Hotel, Brussels


The current contexts of massive unemployment and of a changing demographic paradigm (ageing of the population, female participation to labour market, family fragmentation, urbanisation and changes in lifestyle, etc.) contribute to a greater demand for personal and household services. It is estimated that 5.5 million new potential jobs could be created in this sector within the EU.


In parallel, the circumstances that lead people to work and trade in the shadow economy have grown in importance and the informal economy keeps on rising, especially in care sector. Informal economy creates a vicious cycle and drains a wide range of problems for all stakeholders: erosion of the institutional capacity and revenue losses for public authorities because of a widespread tax evasion; poor conditions of work without legal and social status for the labor force and heavy costs to society as a whole, such as for instance, the impact of informal economy on the deterioration of national welfare systems.  


Moreover, and beyond unprotected working conditions (which lead to abusive practices in many cases), domestic workers may be stigmatised by issues of gender and ethnicity rendering them highly vulnerable to deprivation, poverty and exclusion from the society.


Thus, it seems that governments would benefit from unlocking the potential for growth contained within the informal economy sector, several public authorities having already implemented schemes encouraging greater participation in the formal sector, which have proved their efficiency. 


This fourth Policies and Practices’ session will focus on:


  • Risks and losses for all stakeholders due to the existence of a shadow economy 
  • Solutions to create jobs within a framework developing formal economy 
  • Positive impact for governments to invest in such measures
  • Notions of decent work and inclusion of domestic workers within the society tackling risks of poverty
  • Management of and support to personal and care services and access to quality and affordable social services for all.


Speakers addressing these issues will include:



Rudi Delarue, Director of the ILO Brussels office for the EU and the Benelux countries.

Prior to taking up this post he was an official of the European Commission since 1999 where he held posts relating to international affairs (Enlargement, relations with the ILO and G8 Employment and Labour Ministerial, social dimension of globalisation and decent work); and to social dialogue. Between 1987 and 1999 he was an official of the Christian trade union confederation of Belgium (ACV/CSC). Mr Delarue was born in 1963 in Tienen, Belgium. He graduated with a Law degree from the Catholic University of Leuven in 1986 and subsequently pursued European studies at the College of Europe in Bruges. He has published on Belgian, EU and international labour relations, on employment policy, and on EU and ILO issues. He is President of Arktos (NGO dealing with social integration of youth)



  Claudia Menne, Confederal Secretary of the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC), obtained her Master’s degree in Social and Economic History from the University of Bochum, Germany, in 1990 and has gone on to hold numerous and reputable positions in this field. Most recently, in May 2011, Claudia was elected Confederal Secretary of the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC), set up in 1973 to promote the interests of working people at European level and to represent them in the EU institutions. Prior to this Menne was President of ETUC’s Women’s Committee and, from 2006 to 2010, she was Vice President of the German Women’s Lobby. Furthermore, from 2006, Claudia was Head of the Confederation of German Trade Union’s (DGB) Department for Gender Equality and Women’s Policy. In her position as Confederal Secretary of the ETUC she is in charge of (gender) equality, anti-discrimination, workers‘ participation (industrial democracy) and social protection, especially pension policies and demographic change. She is a member of several working groups and task forces at EU level with regard to the Active Ageing agenda.



It will also be the occasion for Jean-François Lebrun, speaker during the 1st session, to update its contribution to Policies & Practices presenting news and perspectives for the European Commission concerning the field of personal and household services.


If you are interested in attending, you can register by sending an email to policiesandpractices@edenred.com.


Why not also join the Policies & Practices Linkedin group where you can discuss the issues surrounding the events? Please click here for more information.



Tuesday 28 November, 2023





Policies & Practices