9th Conference European Sociological Association

RN14 Gender Relations in the Labour Market and the Welfare State

2009-09-04 09:00:00 2009-09-04 10:30:00 Friday, 4 September 09:00 - 10:30 Equal Opportunities, Care and the Welfare State Building AA, AA.324

Towards the adult worker model? Gender specific employment orientations and constraints within low-income households in Germany

Our research addresses employment orientations and labour market behaviour of recipi-ents of basic income support for needy job-seekers in Germany. To date very little is known about gender specific implications of the "activating" labour market policies imple-mented in the course of the German labour market reform in 2005. Within the new means-tested benefit regime incremental change in direction of an individualised adult worker model can be assumed. While work obligations have been extended to all employable members of a household exemptions from work obligations for family carers are allowed also. In our research we focus on gender role orientations as well as opportunities and constraints of labour supply due to gender, experience of migration and living conditions of the household.

As the basic income support for needy job-seekers is a social benefit granted at the household level, the situation of benefit recipients has to be analysed in a household context. A question that can hardly be answered without recourse to the internal social and economic structures of households is the significance of women's and men's work and employment orientation for overcoming the need to rely on benefits. In general migrants find themselves in precarious living situations more often than other parts of the population, and that for those of them that have a poor command of the German language this will most likely set an additional hurdle to finding a job.

We use the first wave of the panel study "Labour Market and Social Security" (PASS), established by the Institute for Employment Research (IAB), which is a new dataset for labour market, welfare state and poverty research in Germany, creating a new empirical basis for the scientific community and political consulting. The panel collects additional or significantly more detailed data on relevant characteristics such as attitudes, employment potential or job-seeking behaviour.