Telework as a childcare policy: mitigating or increasing gender and class inequalities? By: Romens, Anne-Iris; Vincent, Stéphanie and Santos Menezes, Paula C. 2024. Community, Work & Family. p1-16.

The closure of schools and preschools due to the Covid-19 pandemic constrained millions of workers with children to modify their care arrangements. In Italy and France, governments adopted different measures to support parents in handling the additional care workload, including promoting access to telework. However, we argue that equating access to telework to a childcare policy, especially during the pandemic, had significant consequences in terms of gender and class inequalities. Based on multi-sited fieldwork in Italy and France, the article analyses the impact that telework as a social policy had on gender and class inequalities, stressing common trends and pointing out that caring for children while teleworking reinforces economic and gender inequalities. Moreover, the paper identifies strategies implemented by parents to cope with the challenge of child-caring while teleworking, highlighting that promoting such a policy can have unequal consequences depending on parents’ social and economic capital.