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

Article


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

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 well-being in a sample of UK care workers and management. Secondly, to assess whether the use of zero-hours contracts affects employee well-being.
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 well-being, 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 well-being. However, more research is needed on the influence of zero-hours contracts on well-being, particularly in groups with increased likelihood of developing mental health disorders.

JournalOccupational Medicine
Journal citation67 (5), pp. 344-349
ISSN1471-8405
0962-7480
Year2017
PublisherOxford University Press for Society of Occupational Medicine
Accepted author manuscript
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)doi:10.1093/occmed/kqx043
Publication dates
Print08 May 2017
Publication process dates
Deposited10 May 2017
Accepted27 Feb 2017
FunderRichard Benjamin Trust
Richard Benjamin Trust
Copyright information© The Author 2017. This article has been accepted for publication in Occupational Medicine Published by Oxford University Press.
LicenseAll rights reserved (under embargo)
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