Ad-PHS project’s workshop in Belgium

On May 6, ESFI hosted the first country seminar in the framework of the Ad-PHS project. The seminar explored the PHS sector in Belgium.

Firstly, Aurélie Decker, EFSI Director, presented the Country in focus document. Stakeholders actively participated in the revision of this report, providing significant contributions as for policy instruments available either in Flanders, Wallonie and/or Brussels regions, both for the care and non-care sectors.

Secondly, two panel discussions focused respectively on PHS stakeholders’ rights and obligations and the development of digital platforms and networks.

Firstly, the Fonds de Soutenabilité (Sectorial Training Fund – Service Vouchers) presented its awareness campaign “Tous Respectueux” (“Respect your worker”), which promotes the provision of quality and ergonomic equipment to domestic workers.

Furthermore, the Flemish network agency Zorggezind – which regroups not for profit domestic and care service providers – outlined its priority targets including life-long training, decent working conditions and standards for occupational safety, as well as the provision of quality and reliable services. Secondly, the panel on web platforms focused on Bsit, providing babysitting services, and Helpper, offering support to dependant vulnerable people. During the discussions, some stakeholders expressed concerns on the rise of web platforms, arguing that the legal vacuum on this topic risks to jeopardize the PHS traditional market by contributing to increase undeclared work.

Nonetheless, it was also stressed that web platforms could be a very useful tool to complement the traditional provision of domestic and care services in a context of increasing demand and insufficient supply.

As a result of the seminar, the Ad-PHS project has delivered the final country report on Belgium, revised thanks to stakeholders’ contributions. Furthermore, the promising practices gathered during the seminar – namely the well-functioning Belgian voucher system – will be integrated into a set of relevant guidelines.