[The health of permanent workers and workers with precarious employment: a literature review].

Mariko Inoue, Mariko Nishikitani, Shinobu Tsurugano, Eiji Yano

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)


The purpose of this study was to review research articles about the health of workers with precarious employment (precarious workers). Articles that compared the health status between permanent and precarious workers were systematically searched. The collected articles are discussed with respect to their study design, data source, sample size, country, health outcome, definition of precarious employment, and primary findings. Sixty-eight articles were identified by the inclusion criteria. Health outcomes were categorized into four types: occupational injuries, physical health, mental health, and alternative health measurements. Precarious employment was associated with a high prevalence of occupational injuries, higher mortality rate, and inferior degree of mental health. For alternative health measures, access to health services were limited among precarious workers. Sickness absence or leave was taken less often by precarious workers than permanent workers. Unstable employment and the limited welfare of precarious workers might affect their health in relation to a variety of health-related characteristics while several studies concluded that permanent workers had an inferior health status. Therefore, the current social climate, which allows precarious employment with low benefits and diverse work contracts, might be detrimental for workers' health, in general.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)117-139
Number of pages23
JournalSangyō eiseigaku zasshi = Journal of occupational health
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2011
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Medicine


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