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LMP urges government to improve situation of caretakers of the elderly

A lawmaker of opposition LMP on Monday called on the government to raise the wages of employees working in elderly care.

Peter Ungar cited data of a survey covering 25 European countries, which showed that Hungary spends 0.4 percent of its GDP on care for elderly citizens, far below the average 1.1 percent.

Meanwhile, labor shortage in the sector has been growing since 2010, and the number of places in state-funded facilities have continued to decline since 2013, Ungar told a press conference in Budapest. Seventy-five percent of employees working in elderly care work for wages at the minimum wage or less, he said, adding that they had also been excluded from the one-off wage compensation paid to health-care employees during the coronavirus pandemic.

Those caring for an elderly family member at home receive a monthly payment between 38,000 (EUR 106) forints and 58,000 (EUR 161) forints, woefully insufficient compensation for lost wages, Ungar said.

Ungar also called on the government to stand up for the interests and safety of Hungarians working in elderly care in western Europe. “They often have poor working conditions or are left uncertain about the payment of the actual fee they are entitled to receive from their labour agency,” he said.

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