44. Wissenschaftliches Seminar, 29. Juni 2018
Precarious employment and health
- Prof. Dr. Yucel Demiral (Dokuz Eylul University Medical Faculty, Department of Public Health and Occupational Medicine, Izmir, Türkei)
Working life is one of the key elements of health and wellbeing of population and individuals. Factors related to work environment affect people’s health to a great extent and proximate or direct way, e.g. work accidents and exposures to hazardous substances, and remote or indirect means, e.g. insecurity, lack of decision power, low paid jobs. Therefore, employment relations as well as the working and employment conditions need to be analyzed to understand the social distribution of health and wellbeing and to prevent and promote health of populations. Employment relations constitute the relationship between employers and workers. An important component of employment relations is the power relations between employers and employees and the level of social protection that employees can count on¹.
Flexible employment and unstandardized work schedules have become widespread in many sectors all over the world². These new work schedules mean increased job insecurity, temporariness, reduction in workers' rights and social security benefits for the workers. These transformations in the organization of work have raised the precarisation of employment relationships. Precarious employment is a concept that has been often used in the last decades to describe jobs that lack social security or are partly safe and unstable. Precarious employment is a kind of complex employment type with its aspects of temporariness, vulnerability in workplace, inadequate social protection and inadequate wages . The precariousness of work affects the health of individuals, employees and the whole society increasingly. There are a number of studies that have found a negative relationship between precarious work and health.
It is important to examine the effects of precarious employment in community and health surveys. It must be considered to be problematic to sustain production models without taking their health consequences for the population into account.
1) Benach J, Solar O, Santana V, Casted A, Chung H, Muntaner C et al. A micro-level model of employment relations and health inequalities. International Journal of Health Services: Planning, Administration, Evaluation, 2010. 40(2), 223-227.
2) Benavides FG, Benach J, Muntaner C et. Al. Association between temporary employment and occupational injury: what are the mechanisms?. Occup. Environ. Med. 2006;63;416-421.