Question for written answer E-004479/2021/rev.1
to the Commission
Chiara Gemma (NI)
Subject: Social security entitlement for family caregivers
According to COFACE Europe, 80% of care in Europe falls on the shoulders of family caregivers who, by assisting dependent family members with severe disabilities, indirectly make an economic contribution equal to 40-90% to the total cost of long-term care.
However, in a number of European countries, first and foremost Italy, these caregivers come up against significant obstacles. According to COFACE, 73% of the caregivers surveyed do not receive any financial compensation and, of these, two thirds have no access to any kind of social welfare. In addition, family caregivers often have no social security, health or insurance coverage for their care work, even though it has an adverse effect on their health and life expectancy, to the extent that around 43% of the caregivers surveyed reported physical or mental health problems. What is more, since they have to balance their working lives with their personal lives, caregivers have low employment rates and are more at risk of poverty.
Bearing in mind that it was as long ago as 2015 that Parliament’s Committee on Petitions heard a complaint about family caregivers’ rights being infringed in Italy, and in the light of this alarming situation, can the Commission answer the following questions:
- Is it aware of this situation?
- Can it say in which countries family caregivers are entitled to social security benefits?
- Will the Commission encourage Member States to recognise and protect caregivers?