ILO report: Co-operatives are a unique model in the provision of care

31 Mar 2016

Co-operatives have a unique approach to the provision of care, according to a new report by the International Labour Organisation. Care is an important issue on the United Nation’s agenda, particularly since the proportion of people aged over 60 in the population is projected to grow to 22% by 2050.

The research, which included an online survey and key stakeholder interviews, was a common project of the ILO Cooperative Unit and the Gender, Equality and Diversity Branch. It included 182 respondents from the care sector, co-operatives and academia or research institutions.

The report suggests that co-operatives are emerging as an innovative type to provide and generate access to better terms of conditions of work in the care sector. They are more likely to employ full-time workers and populations often excluded from labour markets. While wages are not necessarily higher in care co-operatives, almost 42% of survey respondents directly associated with a care co-operative reported that their co-operative pays the country’s minimum wage to all employees. Co-operatives also often provide other benefits to their employees such as training, negotiation skills or a second language said most respondents. The full report is available at on ILO’s website.

Photo: Lincolnshire Co-operative in the UK has travelling health pod that offers members free health checks all year round

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