rEUsilience team member Ivana Dobrotić, University of Zagreb, speaks at Policy Forum on inclusive labour markets


On the 30th May we shared knowledge with fellow Horizon Europe research project ‘PATHS2INCLUDE’ which focuses on understanding processes that shape barriers or facilitate inclusive labour markets. It aims to uncover factors that can be changed and revised by political decisions aiming to reduce inequalities and promote social inclusion in the European labour markets. It focuses on different types of discrimination affecting workers, including care and gender discrimination.

The PATHS2INCLUDE mid-term policy forum took place in Hannover on 30th May 2024 with 35 participants present from research, policy, and practice backgrounds. One of the panels focused on gender and care discrimination in the labour market, which was a space to bring together the rich expertise between Sara Ayllón Gatnau from the University of Girona (member of the PATHS2INCLUDE consortium) and Ivana Dobrotić from the University of Zagreb (member of the rEUsilience consortium).

Sara Ayllón Gatnau discussed the reasons for existing gender gaps in the labour market, pointing out that children and childcare responsibilities, as well as intra-household reallocation of resources, are especially drivers of these gender gaps. The PATHS2INCLUDE research is studying the extent to which gender norms shape not only the likelihood that women (mostly mothers) participate in the labour market, but the characteristics of their employment. She shared some preliminary findings on the impact of gender norms on labour market discrimination – the full research paper will be available in the coming months.

Ivana Dobrotić brought the families and resilience perspective to the discussion, presenting some key rEUsilience findings on the inclusiveness and flexibility of work-life balance policies which are part of broader research aiming to explore how policies envision, shape and affect decisions and behaviours regarding labour market and care engagements in families. She presented the results of rEUsilience focus groups in six countries. The findings point to challenges experienced by families in navigating policies due to complex policy infrastructures and lack of coherence in systems, referring to ‘silent’ cleavages embedded in policy design, bringing multiple and intersectional inequalities in care & employment. She also highlighted that stable and ‘standard’ employment are a primary condition behind eligibility and access to policies and support services. Three specific groups stand out in terms of weaker access to work-care rights: Families with weak or atypical labour market connections (e.g., economically inactive, in non-standard employment such as self-employment, freelancers, on short contracts), migrant families, and other diverse family units.

Both Horizon Europe projects will continue exchanging and creating synergies between their research findings, and opportunities for further cooperation will be explored.

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