At the end of 2007, the field of research known as “work & care” was brand new to Switzerland. As so little data existed, an exploratory approach was needed for the initial Project.


The main objective of the “work & care 1” research project was to ascertain and conceptualise individual and operational challenges in reconciling work with the provision of care to relatives.

The research team used a range of quantitative and qualitative methodological approaches to gather, validate and analyse data and to bring it together in a comprehensive report. The findings were used by the partners to the study – the Swiss banking organisation Bank Coop and the Swiss Alzheimer's Association – to produce practical guidelines and raise awareness within their own institutions. The full report illustrated the social and economic relevance of the subject for the first time, focusing on Switzerland. One of the things that became clear was that around 4 % of people in employment are also caring for relatives. In applying this percentage to the population of Switzerland, this equates to some 160,000 people.


November 2007–October 2009

External funding

Swiss National Science Foundation SNSF/DORE, 13DPD3-118236

Partners in practice

“60 % of the 100,000 people with dementia in Switzerland live at home, thanks to the care and support provided by their relatives, who also work. Dementia lasts for years and the need for care constantly increases. So for us, it is essential that the people providing care are supported at work.”

Birgitta Martensson, Manager, Swiss Alzheimer's Association

“We are committed to the work & care project because we want to support our employees in all phases of their life – especially because onerous care situations are not usually talked about and we would like to break this taboo.”

Eveline Erne, Deputy Manager Staff Competence Centre, Bank Coop


Bischofberger, I. & Höglinger, M. (2008). Herausforderungen für die Vereinbarkeit von Erwerbstätigkeit und Angehörigenpflege. Schweizer Arbeitgeber, 20 (8), 36-39. PDF

Bischofberger, I. (2009). Berufstätig bleiben, wenn Angehörige krank werden – eine Werteabwägung. Tertianum, (49), 14-15. PDF

Bischofberger, I. (2009). Berufstätig sein und Angehörige pflegen. Informationsblatt der Schweizerischen Alzheimervereinigung. Yverdon. PDF

Bischofberger, I. (2009). Pflege von Angehörigen besser mit Beruf vereinbaren: Lohnkompensation. Krankenpflege, 102 (10), 23-25. PDF

Radvanszky, A. & Bischofberger, I. (2008). Unbekannte Belastungen. Alpha, Beilage Tages-Anzeiger, 20.12.2008. PDF

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