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Private Labor Market Intermediaries in the Europeanized Live-in Care Market between Germany and Poland: A Typology

Simone Leiber, Kamil Matuszczyk and Verena Rossow

Abstract

This article looks at the role of private companies involved in organizing so-called live-in care arrangements between two EU member states, Germany and Poland. Due to gaps in the public long-term care system, employing livein migrant care workers in private households has become a widespread individualized solution to rising long-term care needs in Germany. Since eastern EU enlargement, private brokerage agencies placing Polish live-in migrant care workers in German households have grown considerably. Building on approaches conceptualizing the role of intermediaries in formalizing domestic work, we aim to provide a more fine-grained typology of private brokerage agencies, taking into account not only the legal environment and structural features of these private enterprises, but also their strategic positioning under conditions of high legal uncertainty in the EU multi-level governance system. By analyzing corporate as well as political strategies of these intermediaries, we distinguish three different agency types we call pioneers, minimum effort players and followers.

Abstract

In diesem Artikel wird die Rolle privater Unternehmen bei der Organisation sogenannter „Live-in-Care-Arrangements“ zwischen zwei EU-Mitgliedstaaten, Deutschland und Polen, untersucht. Die Beschäftigung von migrantischen Pflegekräften in privaten Haushalten ist aufgrund von Lücken im öffentlichen Pflegesystem zu einer weitverbreiteten individuellen Lösung für den wachsenden Pflegebedarf in Deutschland geworden. Seit der EU-Osterweiterung ist die Anzahl der privaten Vermittlungsagenturen, die polnische Pflege- und Betreuungskräfte in deutsche Haushalte vermitteln, stark gewachsen. Aufbauend auf vorhandenen Typisierungen intermediärer Akteure für die Vermittlung migrantischer Arbeitskräfte entwickelt der Beitrag eine differenziertere Typologie dieser privaten Vermittlungsunternehmen. Darin werden nicht nur die rechtlichen Rahmenbedingungen und strukturellen Merkmale dieser privaten Unternehmen, sondern auch ihre strategische Positionierung unter Bedingungen hoher Rechtsunsicherheit im EU-Mehrebenensystem berücksichtigt. Auf Basis der Analyse von unternehmerischen sowie politischen Strategien dieser Vermittler unterscheiden wir drei Agenturtypen, die wir Pioniere, Minimalisten und Nachahmer nennen.

Acknowledgement

The research in this article was funded by the German-Polish Research Foundation. We are very grateful to Maciej Duszczyk from the University of Warsaw, who headed the Polish part of the study, for his helpful comments on the topic. In addition, we would like to thank Timm Frerk for his support with the online survey, and Larina Kleinitz for her help with the framework analysis.

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Published Online: 2019-11-01
Published in Print: 2019-10-25

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