Introduction: There is the tendency in occupational health research of approximating the 'changed world of work' with a sole focus on the intrinsic characteristics of the work task, encompassing the job content and working conditions. This is insufficient to explain the mental health risks associated with contemporary paid work as not only the nature of work tasks have changed but also the terms and conditions of employment. The main aim of the present study is to investigate whether a set of indicators referring to quality of the employment arrangement is associated with the well-being of people in salaried employment. Associations between the quality of contemporary employment arrangements and mental well-being in salaried workers are investigated through a multidimensional set of indicators for employment quality (contract type; income; irregular and/or unsocial working hours; employment status; training; participation; and representation). The second and third aim are to investigate whether the relation between employment quality and mental well-being is different for employed men and women and across different welfare regimes.
Methods: Cross-sectional data of salaried workers aged 15-65 from 21 EU-member states (n =11,940) were obtained from the 2010 European Social Survey. Linear regression analyses were performed.
Results: For both men and women, and irrespective of welfare regime, several sub-dimensions of low employment quality are significantly related with poor mental well-being. Most of the significant relations persist after controlling for intrinsic job characteristics. An insufficient household income and irregular and/or unsocial working hours are the strongest predictors of poor mental well-being. A differential vulnerability of employed men and women to the sub-dimensions of employment quality is found in Traditional family and Southern European welfare regimes.
Conclusions: There are significant relations between indicators of low employment quality and poor mental well-being, also when intrinsic characteristics of the work task are controlled. Gender differences are least pronounced in Earner-carer countries.
Original languageEnglish
Article number90
Number of pages14
JournalInternational Journal for Equity in Health
Publication statusPublished - 28 Oct 2014

    Research areas

  • Employee well-being, Europe

ID: 2479122