Pay Insecurity And Stressful Work Causing Health Problems For Over A Third Of People

By Meka Beresford, Freelance News Editor 4 Feb 2020
Equality, Health, Workplace
Image Credit: Pixabay

More than a third of people working in “low-quality” jobs have experienced health issues according to research by the Health Foundation.

Around 10 million people, or 36% of the workforce, are working in “low-quality” jobs, which the Health Foundation defines as a job with more than two negative aspects, including lack of satisfaction, insecurity, low pay and lack of autonomy.

Adam Tinson, a senior analyst at the Health Foundation said: “Low-quality work is where someone feels stressed and unfulfilled, whether that’s due to pay, insecurity, a lack of autonomy or a feeling of dissatisfaction. This can harm people’s health.”

The research also revealed those in low-quality jobs were twice as likely to report their health as not good (15%) compared to those in higher-quality jobs (7%).

The Health Foundation has since called for policymakers to shift their focus from the need for more jobs towards creating higher-quality jobs to help improve health.

Lindsay Judge, principal analyst at Resolution said: “Work alone cannot eliminate poverty. Support to sustain employment and progress out of low pay are needed alongside a benefit system that provides adequate support for low-income working families”.

Workers’ Rights

Workers’ rights face diminishment at the end of 2020 because the UK will no longer need to adhere to the EU’s “level playing field” commitments to workers’ rights after the transition period ends in December

These commitments include:

  • The working time directive, limiting the number of hours people can work a week
  • Requirements for workers doing the same jobs to be paid equally
  • Caps on the amounts of particular pollutants that can be in the air

A legal obligation to do this was removed from the final European Union (Withdrawal Agreement) Act.

However, the government has said it will protect and enhance these rights in a separate employment bill.

Mr Tinson said: “With the UK’s employment law set for review as it leaves the EU, there should be a particular focus on improving job quality in order to maintain and improve health.

He added: “To boost job quality, employers should give greater consideration to job security, job design, management practices, and the working environment.”