This article reports evidence gained by the SOPHIE Project regarding employment and labor market-related policies. In the first step, quality of employment and of precarious and informal employment in Europe were conceptualized and defined. Based on these definitions, we analyzed changes in the prevalence and population distribution of key health-affecting characteristics of employment and work between times of economic prosperity and economic crisis in Europe and investigated their impact on health outcomes. Additionally, we examined the effects of several employment and labor market-related policies on factors affecting health equity, including a specific analysis concerning work-related gender equity policies and case studies in different European countries. Our findings show that there is a need to standardize definitions and indicators of (the quality of) employment conditions and improve information systems. This is challenging given the important differences between and within European countries. In our results, low quality of employment and precarious employment is associated with poor mental health. In order to protect the well-being of workers and reduce work-related health inequalities, policies leading to precarious working and employment conditions need to be suspended. Instead, efforts should be made to improve the security and quality of employment for all workers.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)18-39
Number of pages12
JournalInternational Journal of Health Services
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2016

    Research areas

  • employment conditions, labor market, employment policies, health inequalities, SOPHIE project

ID: 26813497