This article contributes to the debate on how collective agreements can enhance social security from the perspective of unpaid care work. It defines the risk of giving up employment in favour of unpaid care as a social security risk (the care risk). It analyses how collective agreements in the EU can address this risk without compromising gender equality. The analysis is conducted with a focus on analysing the risks emerging from European Union law on a regulatory practice yet to emerge: the inclusion of institutional (child) care provisions in collective agreements. The article concludes that it is disruptive for innovative collective bargaining strategies if interpreted from a standpoint focusing merely on economic integration.