3. Transform the worlds of paid and unpaid work

What needs to happen?

To build a caring economy based on equality and wellbeing, it is necessary to transform the worlds of paid and unpaid work. This will provide not just more jobs, but better jobs; that enable women and men to share paid and unpaid work equally; that provide a secure and living income; that are environmentally sustainable; that are free from gender stereotypes and discrimination. In a caring economy, the worlds of paid and unpaid work will respect people’s multiple roles as carers, creatives, community members, parents, partners and so on, alongside their roles as paid workers. In a caring economy, a fuller understanding of the different parts of human existence is taken into account.


  • Make it easier for workers to combine paid work and caring responsibilities, through for instance introducing equal legal entitlements to paid caring leave for all employees and self-employed people, including equal sharing of parental leave in the first year of a child’s life, and leave for caring for elderly/disabled people and older children when required
  • Pursue innovative strategies to reduce the full-time working week to around 30 hours, while also providing ‘living hours guarantees’ to ensure workers have enough hours’ work to meet their income needs
  • Establish an effective wage floor by implementing a minimum wage which is based on the real cost of living, such as the Real Living Wage
  • Support greater diversity and innovation in forms of business ownership, including cooperatives and social enterprises