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The European voice for informal carers

Towards paid care days for all Norwegian working carers

The Norwegian Parliament has instructed the Government to revise the Carers leave options for Care days and compassionate leave in the Norwegian working legislation. This is to ensure same solutions for all and to ensure that women juggling work and care are not the ones who sacrifice their paid work to care for the sick and elderly. The political health decisions are telling us that we all have to receive more and more healthcare at home and hospital at home.

If you are a working carer in Norway, you are entitled to 10 care days, but the decision if paid or not is up to your employer goodwill or if you are a union member and have a collective agreement. In comparison, they have this solution of 10 parental care days for all workers, paid for all by state reimbursement..

This decision is a big victory and a result of their work over the last years. Pårørendealliansen has advocated for paid care days for all working carers, regardless of where they work.

70 % of Norwegian carers between 40 and 70 years have paid work, both men and women. This is also 62 % of all the 800 000 people who are carers in Norway.  We can definitely call them “the Sandwiches” between generations and juggling work, care and family life.

Since not everyone have paid care days, paid sick leave agreement was used as a solution, to care for others. Up to 70 million Euro per year is compensated for this. Pårørendealliansen analysed the national Carers survey and found the loss of 18000 FTEs every year of working carers reducing their work hours or falling out of work.

A lot of working carers have the possibility to flexible working and combining their work with their caring role. This is a good solution for many situations.

But paid care leave days are more important to ensure for working carers who don’t have this flexibility – the bus driver, the cleaner, the nursing assistant and so on. They are employed in low paid work, work shift and have to be physically present in the workplace.

Now the ministry of Health together with the Ministry of Work and social care will work and see what solutions are possible and how they can be implemented. Pårørendealliansen is invited to be a part of this work process.

Pårørendealliansen will also advocate for compensation for carers who are a part of hospital -at-home solutions. This is where the patients leave hospitals and receive medical treatment at home for 4-6 weeks, considered to be  more cost effective. But it also requires a “family member” present 24/ in case something happens and also to measure and even give treatment. Today you can have compassionate leave for this, but paid or not is depending on goodwill from your employer or a union agreement. Pårørendealliansen advocates for paid compensation for working carers who leave work and take part in hospital-at-home solutions. This should be the same for all working carers, since it is a national and public healthcare strategy. The working carers can not be the ones paying for this innovative with their own salary and pension!

Pårørendealliansen has good hope to have better paid solutions for working carers as of 2025.

For more info about this decision:

Please contact Anita Vatland CEO of Pårørendealliansen /Norwegian alliance for informal carers if you need mor information

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