The influence of zero-hours contracts on care worker well-being

Ravalier, J.M, Fidalgo, A.R, Morton, R and Russell, L (2017) 'The influence of zero-hours contracts on care worker well-being.' Occupational Medicine, 67 (5). pp. 344-349. ISSN 0962-7480

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Background:- Care workers have an important social role which is set to expand with the increasing age of the UK population. However the majority of care workers are employed on zero-hours contracts. Aims:- Firstly, to investigate the relationship between working conditions and employee outcomes such as engagement and general mental wellbeing in a sample of UK care workers and management. Secondly, to assess whether the use of zero-hours contracts affects employee wellbeing. Methods:- A cross-sectional survey of domiciliary care and care home employees, undertaken using the Management Standards Indicator Tool (MSIT), Utrecht Work Engagement Scale (UWES) and General Health Questionnaire (GHQ). T-tests and multivariate linear regression evaluated the differences in scoring between those with differing contractual conditions and job roles, and associations of MSIT scores with UWES and GHQ factors. Results:- Employee understanding of their role and job control were found to be priority areas for improvement in the sample. Similarly care workers reported greater occupational demands and lower levels of control than management. However while zero-hours contracts did not significantly influence employee wellbeing, these employees had greater levels of engagement in their jobs. Despite this a greater proportion of individuals with zero-hours contracts had scores above accepted mental health cut-offs. Conclusions:- Individual understanding of their role as care workers appears to play an important part in determining engagement and general mental wellbeing. However more research is needed on the influence of zero-hours contracts on wellbeing, particularly in groups with increased likelihood of developing mental health disorders.

Item Type: Article

First published on 7 May 2017 ahead of its inclusion in a specific issue.

Keywords: engagement, health care workers, mental health, working conditions, zero-hours contracts
Divisions: School of Sciences
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Date Deposited: 31 Mar 2017 13:41
Last Modified: 15 Aug 2021 09:46
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