"Truly Legal"? Justification Narratives of Transnational Live-in Care in Germany, Austria and Switzerland
Sprache des Vortragstitels:
Global Labor Migration: Past and Present
Sprache des Tagungstitel:
The increasing privatization and economization of public services has led to an expanding market of nursing and care services in Western societies. One characteristic of this development is the formation of transnational care spaces, in which placement agencies play a key role in filling what is known as the care gap. In our comparative German-Austrian-Swiss project Decent Care Work? Transnational Home Care Arrangements we explore how so-called 24-hour live-in care services for elderly people are commodified and formalized. In all three countries, transnational placement agencies satisfy a demand for care work, traditionally performed by female family members and now outsourced to migrant care workers. While agencies in Austria place self-employed caregivers in elderly people?s households, agencies in Switzerland act as personnel-leasers or -brokers of employed carers. Both countries have created heavily criticized legal frameworks agencies tend to follow. Meanwhile, the market in Germany operates in a legal grey area with posting under the EU-Posted Workers Directive the dominant but controversial model. In all three contexts, agencies promise a legal offer under the applicable rules. On the basis of a comprehensive census, a qualitative analysis of placement agencies? websites, as well as expert interviews with representatives of these agencies in the global cities of Frankfurt/Main, Vienna and Zurich, our paper aims to illuminate the agencies? justification narratives while uncovering the similarities and differences of these narratives in the three selected cities, linking them to the applicable regulations, and examining them critically.