Employment Quality: An Overlooked Determinant of Workers’ Health and Well-being?

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In the past four decades, high-income countries have seen a thorough socio-economic restructuring with important implications for the jobs of many workers, including health- and safety-related aspects. Much attention has been paid to psychosocial risks related to intrinsic features of contemporary work tasks, while the occupational health and safety consequences of 'new' conditions and relations of employment have remained neglected. This relative neglect is unjustified given the disrupting nature of many contemporary forms of employment. In this commentary, I introduce the concept of 'employment quality' as a novel approach towards measuring employment-related OHS risks. Employment quality involves a 'typological approach' towards employment arrangements, identifying five employment types in European labour markets, showing a distinct profile in terms of health-related employment characteristics. Moreover, these types align with segmented labour market theory, have a clear socio-economic profile, and show strong associations with workers' self-reported health.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)619-623
Number of pages5
JournalAnnals of Work Exposures and Health
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 24 Jul 2019


  • employment quality
  • general self-rated health
  • mental health
  • precarious work
  • well-being


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