In the past decades, important changes have occurred to how work is organized in our economies. There has been a tendency of polarization in job quality. At least in certain niches of the labor market, this involved a precarization of employment (e.g., contractual instability, flexible working hours, low wages, weak bargaining position). This tendency is not randomly distributed over the working population: the least advantaged socioeconomic strata are most affected by deteriorating employment situations. In this chapter, we outline the theoretical and conceptual underpinnings of a multidimensional concept of precarious employment that is conceived for health and well-being research among workers. We will present the current state of the art regarding its associations with worker characteristics and workers’ health and well-being. Specific attention is also paid to the possible causal pathways linking precarious employment to health and well-being. The chapter is concluded by discussing a future research and policy agenda.
- precarious employment