Dr Vanessa Gash from The University of Manchester’s School of Social Sciences spent two years examining health statistics of Spanish and German workers. The results, she says, are relevant to any country where there are temporary workers - including the UK. Her team’s work chimes with Scandinavian research which found that fixed-term contract workers are more likely to die from alcohol and smoking related causes than permanent workers.
She said: “Getting a job is good for your health, but according to our research it’s less good for your health if you have a fixed-term contract - especially if you’re a man. Fixed-term contract workers can lose their jobs more frequently as their contracts run out within short periods. This job loss often results in unemployment which usually causes a deterioration of general health indicators and health status. Fixed-term contract workers are also disproportionately affected by job insecurity which is also thought to affect health status.
There may also be stresses linked to the comparatively poor job quality of some fixed-term jobs which tend to be relatively low paid. For sure it’s a major trend across Europe. In Spain where we did some of our work, a third of all workers are on fixed-term contracts. But it’s also common in the UK especially as according to a recent EU report, new forms of work arrangements - including freelance or temporary agency workers - have increased to almost 40 percent in 2005 across the EU.”
MEDICA.de; Source: The University of Manchester