Social determinants of health

Employment conditions

Woman working in a rice field near Luang Namtha, Laos

The most important factors shaping people’s social position include employment and working conditions. The Employment Conditions Knowledge Network (EMCONET) developed models and measures to clarify how different types of jobs, conditions of underemployment and the threat of becoming unemployed affect workers’ health.

Pathways by which employment and working conditions affect the health of workers and their families were identified, with the goal of demonstrating how such knowledge can be translated into labour and health policy measures. The health of workers and their families will ultimately be improved by strengthening fair access to employment and the other dimensions of decent work.

Organizational co-hubs:

Health Inequalities Research Group (Occupational Health Research Unit) of Pompeu Fabra University, Spain; Social Equity & Health Research Unit (Centre for Addiction and Mental Health) and Faculty of Nursing of Toronto of the University of Toronto, Canada; and the Institute of Collective Health, Federal University of Bahia, Brazil, were the co-hubs for the Employment Conditions Knowledge Network. Chairs: Joan Benach, Carles Muntaner, and Vilma Santana.

Key publications

Final report of the Economic Conditions Knowledge Network - Employment conditions and health inequalities

The aim of this Report is to provide a rigorous analysis on how employment relations affect different population groups, and how this knowledge may help identify and promote worldwide effective policies and institutional changes to reduce health inequalities derived from these employment relations.

Employment Conditions Knowledge Network scoping paper

Report by EMCONET hubs - Pompeu Fabra University, University of Toronto, Federal University of Bahia - to collect data and evidence on the relation between employment conditions and health.

Photo gallery: Benin, Nepal, Peru

Images taken by the Italian photographer and anthropologist Edoardo Gianotti, who has documented employment conditions around the world.