Underpaid, unpaid, unseen, unheard and unhappy? Care work in the context of constraint

Source: Donna Baines, Sara Charlesworth, Tamara Daly, Journal of Industrial Relations (JIR), Vol. 58 no. 4, September 2016
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From the abstract:
Care work – in its paid and unpaid forms – spans the private, public and non-profit sectors in addition to being an essential underpinning of home and community life (Duffy et al., 2015). Due to its close association with gendered expectations of elastic, uncomplaining work undertaken by women across the continuum of home, community and residential places, care work continues to be undervalued in numerous ways (Baines, 2004; England, 2005; Folbre, 2008). Indeed, care workers often work in conditions in which they are underpaid, unpaid, unseen, unheard and unhappy (Daly and Szebehely, 2012; Palmer and Eveline, 2012). These conditions are related to government austerity models; how care work is regulated within employment relations; state, market and private roles providing and funding care; and how care work organisation is shifting in the context of austerity strategies, policies of constraint, continued high demand, decreased union density and increasing standardisation.

These conditions and the women who work within them and around them are the focus of this Special Issue: Care Work in the Context of Constraint. The Special Issue draws together international researchers and scholars in a close investigation of the complexity of care work in the era of austerity policies.
Government bodies that fund care work have been under increasing pressure to cut costs, expand accountability and contribute to austerity agendas (Brennan et al., 2012; Cunningham et al., 2014; Grimshaw and Rubery, 2012). This impacts at the level of care organisations in the form of decreased financial resources and increased obligations to provide documentary and statistical evidence of the care provided to service users…..