Saudi Arabia: Care Policy Evaluation 2022

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is blessed with a strong economy, but suffers from underdeveloped care policies. With an overall GCPI score of only 4.00/10.00, Saudi Arabia’s care policies – particularly those protections for family caregivers – are in need of improvement.

Saudi Arabia scores 2.32/10.00 in Sub-Index A, placing it in the ‘Weak’ Index band. This score reflects a total lack of dependent care and flexible work policies, and very limited protections for pregnant women. Fully paid maternity leave in Saudi Arabia excludes certain categories of women such as part-time workers, and women only receive fully paid maternity leave if they have already worked three or more years for their employer.

Sub-Index B sees Saudi Arabia perform better, with a score of 5.67/10.00. Most domestic workers in Saudi Arabia are migrants, and hotlines exist to provide migrant domestic workers with special assistance. However, domestic workers are barred from trade union activity, and have no minimum wage. There is minimal regulation of the living and working conditions of domestic workers too.

You can read more about Saudi Arabia’s care policies here.

Philippines: Care Policy Evaluation 2022

The Philippines is a Southeast Asian country that has been a site for rapid care policy development in the last few years. Owing to this, the Philippines earned an overall GCPI score of 7.23/10.00, placing it in the higher end of the ‘Maturing’ Index band.

In Sub-Index A, the Philippines scored 5.88/10.00. Outstanding policies include guaranteeing maternity leave for all working women (including those in the informal sector). However, paternity leave and flexible work arrangements remain underdeveloped.

In Sub-Index B, the Philippines score 8.58/10.00. This excellent score is derived from specially developed protections against the abuse of domestic workers, including provisions for the rescue and rehabilitation of victims. Contracts are mandatory, and all categories of domestic work are covered under the Labor Code. There remains room for improvement though, in legislation on the working environment and working hours of domestic workers.

You can read more about care policies in the Philippines here.

Taiwan: Care Policy Evaluation 2022

Taiwan is a highly developed East Asian nation, known for being one of the Four Asian Tigers that sported miraculously fast economic growth in the ’60s and ’70s. In Taiwan’s case, care policies have also developed relatively well alongside economic growth, giving Taiwan an overall GCPI score of 5.57/10.00.

In Sub-Index A, Taiwan’s score of 6.14/10.00 reflects a progressive baseline of policies for family caregivers. While most women are entitled to fully paid maternity leave, this leave is much shorter than ILO recommended baselines. However, Taiwan performs particularly well in its provision of dependent care leave.

In Sub-Index B, Taiwan’s score of 4.99/10.00 is dragged down by their labor laws, which generally exclude domestic workers from their ambit. Taiwan is primarily a destination for migrant domestic workers and is still developing unique protections for this vulnerable sector.

You can read more about Taiwan’s care policies here.

Jordan: Care Policy Evaluation 2022

Jordan is a upper-middle income Arab country that was notably the first nation in the Middle East to include domestic workers under the protections of her national labor laws. However with an overall GCPI score of 4.62/10.00 (Emerging), Jordanian legislation still has to improve upon its policies for family caregivers.

In Sub-Index A, Jordan’s score of 3.19/10.00 is on the lower end of the emerging band. While women are indeed entitled to fully paid maternity leave for 10 weeks, other important supporting legislation remains missing – such as a lack of flexible leave legislation and anti-discrimination legislation upon return to work.

In Sub-Index B, Jordan performs better with a score of 6.05 out of 10.00 – but the policy-practice gap remains clear. Although legislation exists to guarantee domestic workers rest, sick leave, and safe living conditions, enforcement is weak. Importantly, Jordan is a destination for migrant domestic laborers who are particularly vulnerable to exploitation.

You can read more about Jordan’s care policies in the Country and Technical reports here.

Nigeria: Care Policy Evaluation 2022

Nigeria possesses one of the fastest growing economies in the world. However, Nigeria’s care policies remain stagnant. With an overall GCPI score of 3.16/10.00, Nigeria’s score is primarily brought down by a lack of care policy protections for family caregivers.

In Sub-Index A, Nigeria scores 2.18/10.00. This score reflects a lack of paternity leave, dependent care leave, and flexible working policies. Overall, even Nigeria’s maternity leave policies fall short of the ILO recommended guidelines on duration and remuneration.

In Sub-Index B, Nigeria scores slightly better with 4.13/10.00. While domestic workers are excluded from most laws, they are entitled to pensions and workplace injury compensation. However, working and living conditions remain wholly unregulated for domestic workers.

You can read more about Nigeria’s care policies in the Country and Technical reports here.

Iceland: Care Policy Evaluation 2022

Iceland is a highly developed and sparsely populated island nation in the Nordic region. Sporting well-developed care policy protections in general, Iceland’s final GCPI score of 6.61/10.00 (Maturing) reflects specific and significant omissions rather than broad underdevelopment of care policies.

In Sub-Index A, Iceland scored 5.81/10.00. This score is not intuitive, given Iceland’s excellent provisions for maternity and paternity leave – which are some of the most generous in the entire world. However, Iceland is yet to develop robust legislation to guarantee flexible work arrangements for family caregivers. Additionally, Iceland fails to offer guaranteed nursing breaks to working mothers.

In Sub-Index B, Iceland received a score of 7.41/10.00. Domestic workers work under legislation that guarantees them normal hours of work and a safe and healthy working environment. Migrant domestic workers in Iceland are also protected by national legislation. However, most migrant workers in Iceland operate in the informal sector, thus often falling outside the realm of legislative protection.

You can read more about Iceland’s care policies in the Country Report and Technical Report here.

United States (Federal): Care Policy Evaluation 2022

The United States of America (US) is a federal republic with a population of 329.5 million. The political economy of the US is heavily market-oriented and provides a relatively limited set of welfare protections. The female labor force participation rate in the US is estimated to be 55.4% in 2020, much higher than the world average of 45.9%. Although not one of the leading gender-equal countries in the world, the US scores relatively well on the Gender Inequality Index from the United Nations Development Program, with a score of 0.204, where 0 represents complete gender equality.

Meanwhile, the demographics of the country’s paid domestic work sector reflect the entrenched inequalities that continue to exist in gender, race, and class in America. Around 91.5% of domestic workers are female and over half are from minority groups, including African Americans, Asian Americans and Hispanics. 35.1% of domestic workers in the country are foreign-born and over half of these foreign-born workers are not US citizens.

In evaluating caregiver protections in the United States, this country report focuses on evaluating only the federal laws of the United States. State-level regulations were not taken into consideration when scoring the country’s protection for paid and unpaid care providers. At the federal level, the United States scored a 3.41 out of 10 for the GCPI, placing it in the middle of the Emerging band of the index. Its poor performance in both Sub-Index A and Sub-Index B makes it something of an outlier when compared with other high-income countries that tend to have stronger protections for both paid and unpaid care providers. You can access the United States’ country report and technical report here.

South Africa: Care Policy Evaluation 2022

South Africa is an upper-middle income country on the tip of the African continent. Despite having a highly developed economy concentrating in providing finance, business, and real estate services, the informal economy still contributes to 27% of South Africa’s GDP. This poses a challenge to the nation when it attempts to pass legislation that protects family caregivers and domestic workers.

Family caregivers are well protected in South Africa. Working women are entitled to 4 months of maternity leave, and extensive nursing and childcare support at the workplace. However, South Africa still stands to improve in the provision of greater flexible working opportunities to family caregivers. South Africa scored 5.93/10.00 for Sub-Index A, positioning it in the “Maturing” index band.

Domestic workers are explicitly covered by labor law in South Africa unless they are independent contractors. As such, domestic workers are protected by legislation that sets minimum working standards and living conditions. Domestic workers are also protected by extensive laws against forced labor. However, South Africa fails to offer migrant domestic workers many legislative protections, which increases the risk of migrant domestic worker exploitation. As such, South Africa scored 6.55/10.00 in Sub-Index A.

Overall, South Africa’s care policies show potential and regard for care-workers. South Africa’s final score on the GCPI is 6.24, ranking it in the “Maturing” index band. To explore South Africa’s care policies in greater detail, you can access South Africa’s country report and technical report here.

Sri Lanka: Care Policy Evaluation 2022

Sri Lanka is a South Asian island nation off the coast of India. Relative to her neighbours in South Asia, Sri Lanka sports relatively higher levels of human development. However, Sri Lanka’s labor law is in need of several amendments in order to further protect family caregivers and domestic workers.

Alongside a minimum 12 week maternity leave provision, Sri Lanka also offers male workers in the state sector 3 days of paternity leave. While such provisions are commendable, they still fall short of the ILO recommended durations. Notably, Sri Lanka legislation also offers generous nursing support at the workplace. However, anti-discrimination legislation must be improved to prevent new mothers from being fired or demoted following their uptake of maternity leave. Further, Sri Lankan law fails to recognize that non-female individuals may act as family caregivers too. As such, Sri Lanka scores 3.73/10.00 in Sub-Index A.

Domestic workers are excluded from labor law in Sri Lanka as they are not commonly included in the definitions of “worker” used by the law. As such, Sri Lanka fails to mandate that domestic workers must be employed with contracts, and given safe and healthy working environments. Given numerous omissions in the protections for domestic workers, Sri Lanka scores 3.12/10.00 in Sub-Index B.

Overall, Sri Lanka scores 3.42 out of 10.00 in the GCPI, placing it in the “Emerging” Index band. A deep-dive into the complexity of Sri Lankan labor law with regard to family caregivers and domestic workers can be found here.

Bangladesh: Care Policy Evaluation 2022

The People’s Republic of Bangladesh is a South Asian country with a large and diverse labor force. With rudimentary legal provisions for family caregivers, and a failure to regulate domestic work at all, Bangladesh scores very poorly on the GCPI with a final score of 0.96/10.00.

Bangladesh offers 16 weeks of maternity leave to working women in the formal sector. Besides this however, Bangladeshi law does not offer legislative protections to other family caregivers. Owing to the lack of any paternity leave policies, dependent care policies, and flexible work arrangements, Bangladesh could only score 1.38 out of 10.00 in Sub-Index A.

Bangladeshi law considers domestic work to be informal sector labor, and as such fails to offer domestic workers any protections under traditional labor laws. However, rudimentary protections exist to combat forced and under-age labor, and domestic workers may still be eligible for social security benefits from the government. Overall, Bangladesh scores 0.55 for Sub-Index B.

Bangladesh’s final score of 0.96/10.00 positions the nation in the “Weak” protections band of the GCPI. Significant legislative reform is required to improve Bangladesh’s performance in the protection of family caregivers and domestic workers. You can read more about Bangladesh’s care policies in the country report here.