Contractual conditions, working conditions and their impact on health and well-being
BACKGROUND This study compares associations between types of employment and health indicators in the Second (ES1995) and the Third European Survey on Working Conditions (ES2000) by gender, adjusting for individual and country-level confounders. METHODS Two cross-sectional surveys of a representative sample of the European Union (EU) total active population (n=15,146 workers in ES1995 and n=21,703 workers in ES2000). Based on their comparability in both surveys four health indicators were considered: job dissatisfaction, stress, fatigue and backache. RESULTS Non-permanent employment reported high percentages of job dissatisfaction but low levels of stress. Small employers were more likely to report fatigue and stress but less likely to report job dissatisfaction. Sole traders were more likely to report fatigue and backache. Workers in full-time employment almost always reported worse levels of health indicators than part-time. Two exceptions for part-time were found: temporary employment regarding job dissatisfaction, and in ES2000, sole traders with regard to job dissatisfaction, fatigue and backache. By and large, results by gender were similar in both surveys, although the magnitude of associations decreased in ES2000. Associations remained unchanged after adjustment. CONCLUSION This study has compared for the first time the associations between various types of employment and four health indicators for the EU in ES1995 and ES2000, by gender. Overall, a slight increase in all health indicators was observed in the ES2000 compared to ES1995, and results were very consistent between both surveys. Similar findings in both surveys suggest that causal interpretation may be enhanced.