Precarious employment and mental health in the Belgian service voucher system: the role of working conditions and perceived financial strain

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Samenvatting

Introduction Jobs in domestic cleaning are often conceived as ‘precarious employment’ (PE)—i.e. a multidimensional concept referring to accumulated adverse characteristics of employment due to workers’ weak bargaining position. Against this background, the Belgian service voucher system (SVS) was implemented aimed at creating formal and stable, subsidized domestic services jobs.
Purpose The current study assesses the relationship between PE and mental health (WHO5) in the Belgian SVS, accounting for the potential mediating role of working conditions and perceived financial strain at the household level.
Methods We analysed a cross-sectional sample of 1,115 Belgian SVS domestic cleaners, collected in 2019 through an online survey. A mediation model was estimated.
Results The crude effect of PE on adverse mental health was strong (ß 0.545—S.E. 0.063). However, 50% of the association between PE and mental well-being was mediated by work task characteristics (quantitative demands, physical demands,
task variation and autonomy) and 25% by household-level perceived financial strain. The remaining direct effect of PE on adverse mental well-being is ß 0.066 (S.E. 0.032—25% of the total effect).
Conclusion These findings are the first based on the Belgian Employment Precariousness Scale (EPRES-BE) and are consistent with earlier-made—but seldom simultaneously tested—assumptions on the mechanisms relating PE to adverse mental health—i.e. involving direct associations and indirect associations via adverse working conditions and material deprivation. Based on the results, we recommend more
Originele taal-2English
Pagina's (van-tot)435-450
Aantal pagina's16
TijdschriftInternational Archives of Occupational and Environmental Health
Volume97
Nummer van het tijdschrift4
DOI's
StatusPublished - 26 mrt 2024

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Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2024.

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