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1.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 19(10)2022 05 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1847334

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 crisis is a global event that has created and amplified social inequalities, including an already existing and steadily increasing problem of employment and income insecurity and erosion of workplace rights, affecting workers globally. The aim of this exploratory study was to review employment-related determinants of health and health protection during the pandemic, or more specifically, to examine several links between non-standard employment, unemployment, economic, health, and safety outcomes during the COVID-19 pandemic in Sweden, Belgium, Spain, Canada, the United States, and Chile, based on an online survey conducted from November 2020 to June 2021. The study focused on both non-standard workers and unemployed workers and examined worker outcomes in the context of current type and duration of employment arrangements, as well as employment transitions triggered by the COVID-19 crisis. The results suggest that COVID-19-related changes in non-standard worker employment arrangements, or unemployment, are related to changes in work hours, income, and benefits, as well as the self-reported prevalence of suffering from severe to extreme anxiety or depression. The results also suggest a link between worker type, duration of employment arrangements, or unemployment, and the ability to cover regular expenses during the pandemic. Additionally, the findings indicate that the type and duration of employment arrangements are related to the provision of personal protective equipment or other COVID-19 protection measures. This study provides additional evidence that workers in non-standard employment and the unemployed have experienced numerous and complex adverse effects of the pandemic and require additional protection through tailored pandemic responses and recovery strategies.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Unemployment , COVID-19/epidemiology , Employment , Humans , Pandemics , Surveys and Questionnaires
2.
Home Health Care Serv Q ; 41(2): 124-138, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1711249

ABSTRACT

Home health aides and home care agencies, who operate in a high work stress environment under normal conditions, were placed under extraordinary demands during the COVID-19 pandemic. In this paper, we examine the unfolding effort at one agency in New York City to offer phone-based support calls to aides. We used a qualitative, single case study design involving semi-structured interviews with call staff and agency leaders (n = 9) and analysis of one year of thematic notes from the calls. We found that the calls resulted in multidirectional communication between agency staff and aides, an increased sense of empathy among staff, and a greater integration of aides into the agency's overall infrastructure. We explore how these calls might contribute to aide retention, worker voice, and mental health. We note the facilitators and barriers to implementing this type of job-based support to help other agencies that may be considering similar models.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Home Care Agencies , Home Health Aides , Home Health Aides/psychology , Humans , Pandemics/prevention & control , Workplace
3.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 19(4)2022 02 16.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1706144

ABSTRACT

The prevalence of precarious employment has increased in recent decades and aspects such as employment insecurity and income inadequacy have intensified during the COVID-19 pandemic. The purpose of this systematic review was to identify, appraise, and synthesise existing evidence pertaining to implemented initiatives addressing precarious employment that have evaluated and reported health and well-being outcomes. We used the PRISMA framework to guide this review and identified 11 relevant initiatives through searches in PubMed, Scopus, Web of Science, and three sources of grey literature. We found very few evaluated interventions addressing precarious employment and its impact on the health and well-being of workers globally. Ten out of 11 initiatives were not purposefully designed to address precarious employment in general, nor specific dimensions of it. Seven out of 11 initiatives evaluated outcomes related to the occupational health and safety of precariously employed workers and six out of 11 evaluated worker health and well-being outcomes. Most initiatives showed the potential to improve the health of workers, although the evaluation component was often described with less detail than the initiative itself. Given the heterogeneity of the 11 initiatives regarding study design, sample size, implementation, evaluation, economic and political contexts, and target population, we found insufficient evidence to compare outcomes across types of initiatives, generalize findings, or make specific recommendations for the adoption of initiatives.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Occupational Health , COVID-19/epidemiology , Employment , Humans , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2
4.
New Solut ; 32(1): 9-18, 2022 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1575791

ABSTRACT

Workers engaged in reproductive labor-the caring work that maintains society and supports its growth-contribute to societal health while also enduring the harms of precarious labor and substantial work stress. How can we conceptualize the effects of reproductive labor on workers and society simultaneously? In this commentary, we analyze four types of more relational and less relational careworkers-homeless shelter workers, school food workers, home care aides, and household cleaners-during the COVID-19 pandemic. We then make a case for a new model of societal health that recognizes the contributions of careworkers and healthy carework. Our model includes multi-sectoral social policies supporting both worker health and societal health and acknowledges several dimensions of work stress for careworkers that have received insufficient attention. Ultimately, we argue that the effects of reproductive labor on workers and society must be considered jointly, a recognition that offers an urgent vision for repairing and advancing societal health.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Home Health Aides , Occupational Stress , COVID-19/epidemiology , Health Status , Humans , Pandemics , Social Determinants of Health
5.
Syst Rev ; 10(1): 195, 2021 06 30.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1318294

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Precarious employment is a significant determinant of population health and health inequities and has complex public health consequences both for a given nation and internationally. Precarious employment is conceptualized as a multi-dimensional construct including but not limited to employment insecurity, income inadequacy, and lack of rights and protection in the employment relation, which could affect both informal and formal workers. The purpose of this review is to identify, appraise, and synthesize existing research on the effectiveness of initiatives aiming to or having the potential to eliminate, reduce, or mitigate workers' exposure to precarious employment conditions and its effects on the health and well-being of workers and their families. METHODS: The electronic databases searched (from January 2000 onwards) are Scopus, Web of Science Core Collection, and PubMed, along with three institutional databases as sources of grey literature. We will include any study (e.g. quantitative, qualitative, or mixed-methods design) evaluating the effects of initiatives that aim to or have the potential to address workers' exposure to precarious employment or its effects on the health and well-being of workers and their families, whether or not such initiatives were designed specifically to address precarious employment. The primary outcomes will be changes in (i) the prevalence of precarious employment and workers' exposure to precarious employment and (ii) the health and well-being of precariously employed workers and their families. No secondary outcomes will be included. Given the large body of evidence screened, the initial screening of each study will be done by one reviewer, after implementing several strategies to ensure decision-making consistency across reviewers. The screening of full-text articles, data extraction, and critical appraisal will be done independently by two reviewers. Potential conflicts will be resolved through discussion. Established checklists will be used to assess a study's methodological quality or bias. A narrative synthesis will be employed to describe and summarize the included studies' characteristics and findings and to explore relationships both within and between the included studies. DISCUSSION: We expect that this review's findings will provide stakeholders interested in tackling precarious employment and its harmful health effects with evidence on effectiveness of solutions that have been implemented to inform considerations for adaptation of these to their unique contexts. In addition, the review will increase our understanding of existing research gaps and enable us to make recommendations to address them. Our work aligns with the sustainable development agenda to protect workers, promote decent work and economic growth, eliminate poverty, and reduce inequalities. SYSTEMATIC REVIEW REGISTRATION: PROSPERO CRD42020187544 .


Subject(s)
Employment , Occupational Health , Humans , Systematic Reviews as Topic
6.
Int J Health Serv ; 51(2): 226-228, 2021 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1067025

ABSTRACT

The world of work is facing an ongoing pandemic and an economic downturn with severe effects worldwide. Workers trapped in precarious employment (PE), both formal and informal, are among those most affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Here we call attention to at least 5 critical ways that the consequences of the crisis among workers in PE will be felt globally: (a) PE will increase, (b) workers in PE will become more precarious, (c) workers in PE will face unemployment without being officially laid off, (d) workers in PE will be exposed to serious stressors and dramatic life changes that may lead to a rise in diseases of despair, and (e) PE might be a factor in deterring the control of or in generating new COVID-19 outbreaks. We conclude that what we really need is a new social contract, where the work of all workers is recognized and protected with adequate job contracts, employment security, and social protection in a new economy, both during and after the COVID-19 crisis.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Employment , SARS-CoV-2 , Humans , Pandemics , United States
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