PERHOUSE: Personal and household services (PHS) in Central and Eastern European Countries: Improving working conditions and services through industrial relations


Donor: This project is funded by the European Union
Time period: 2022-2024
Total Amount: 332.000€‎

The PERHOUSE seeks to improve working conditions and personal and household services through industrial relations in Central European countries.

The PERHOUSE project seeks to analyze the current characteristics and challenges related to service provision and working conditions in the personal and household services (PHS) sectors in the Central and Eastern European (CEE) countries. Demand for PHS has been increasing within the broader trend of de-institutionalizing the care sector due to the lack of available services in integrated care and non-care services. Understanding and strengthening the role of industrial relations would improve the working conditions in the PHS sector in CEE countries. It would also help systematize the workplace’s fundamental definitions and set benchmarks for the quality of services, working conditions, and access to care and non-care services provided in home settings. In turn, regularisation of the sector would facilitate integration into broader industrial relations structures for seeking multiplier effects on the provision of care and non-care-oriented services by public and private providers, would contribute to tackling the high share of undeclared work in the sector and to providing decent working conditions to PHS workers.

The project has a strong regional focus on CEE. It will be carried out at the EU level and in 12 countries: Poland, Estonia, Czechia, Slovakia, Hungary, North Macedonia, Romania, Croatia, Lithuania, Latvia, Slovenia and Bulgaria. Data will be collected via surveys and qualitative interviews both at the national and EU levels, processed in the form of research reports and policy briefs, and innovative dissemination materials, including audio-visual tools and exchanges among social partners and other EU-level and EU-level national- level stakeholders via project meetings and workshops.

The general objective is the explore industrial relations to improve the working conditions and services in the PHS sector of CEE countries.


  • Address the challenges of working conditions and services in the PHS sector of CEE countries.
  • Deepen the analysis of industrial relations and the potential of social dialogue in the PHS of CEE countries.
  • Provide a comparative analysis of national experiences in IR and working relations in PHS and explore the link to EU-level social dialogue structures.
  • Promote awareness of the industrial relations practices related to the PHS sector.

The project will respond to the following research questions:

RQ1) What is the current state and structure of service provision of PHS in CEE and what are the working conditions in the PHS sector?

RQ2) What is the role of social dialogue in regulating and improving the work patterns in the personal and household services (PHS) sector of domestic workers in Central and Eastern European countries (CEE)?

Project leading partner: Central European Labour Studies Institute (CELSI, Slovakia)


Foundation MK 2025 (MK 2025) (North Macedonia)

Centre for Organisational and Human Resources Research, Faculty of Social Sciences (FSS), University of Ljubljana (UL) (Slovenia)

University of Tartu (UT, Estonia)

Marie Curie Sklodowska University (UMCS, Poland)

European association of service providers for persons with disabilities (EASPD, EU level, Belgium)

Faculty of Humanities, Charles University, (CU, Czechia)