EIGE has collected data using an EU-wide online panel survey on the socio-economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. This survey will form part of EIGE's 2022 focus on ‘an economy that works for people’, which is also the thematic focus of the Gender Equality Index 2022.
Previous research into the socio-economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic showed that:
- Due to lockdown measures, paid employment declined, while the amount of unpaid household work and childcare increased significantly. Even though men doubled their share of household work, women still shouldered the bulk of the load.
- The rise in teleworking opportunities saved many jobs and showed the potential of a digital workforce, but it also increased work-life balance tensions, especially for women.
- When the economy reopened during the summer of 2020, women did not return to paid employment to the same extent that men did. This could indicate that women might suffer longer financial consequences from the pandemic than men.
The survey collected data on the thematic areas of unpaid care, paid work, services, support and well-being. The data was collected from June to July 2021 and had over 42,000 respondents, aged 20-64, from across all EU Member States. The aim was to answer how much paid and unpaid work hours changed for women and men during the pandemic, and to explore:
- To what extent were changes in paid and unpaid work driven by workplace, school and care facility closures due to lockdown measures?
- What changes in domestic and institutional settings (e.g. mobility) would further support personal and family members’ employment and career development?
- How did the amount of household work, including care, change due to the COVID-19 crisis and did this lead to any changes in the distribution of unpaid work within households?
- How did changes/adoptions of certain work arrangements (e.g. home-based telework) explain and relate to the extent of paid and unpaid work?
- What were the key consequences of these changes for women and men in terms of personal and household income, work quality, career aspirations and options, job satisfaction and work motivation?
Selected survey results were published throughout 2022, as well as formed the thematic focus of Gender Equality Index 2022.