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Health, freedom and work in rural Victoria : the impact of labour market casualisation on health and wellbeing

  • Year: 2012
  • Author: McGann, Michael; Moss, Jeremy; White, Kevin
  • Journal Name: Health Sociology Review
  • Journal Number: Vol. 21, No. 1
  • Country: Australia
  • State/Region: Victoria

This paper presents the findings of a qualitative study of the impact of casualised and independent contractor work place arrangements on the psycho-social health of 72 workers in regional Victoria. It contributes to our understanding of the crisis in rural Australia in its use of qualitative methods focusing on the impact of work on health and well-being. There is some evidence in the literature that casualised work arrangement enhance the health and well-being of workers by giving them a sense of autonomy and freedom to negotiate their conditions of work. On the other hand, these arrangements may make an already vulnerable group even more vulnerable to uncertain work conditions, poor pay and uncertainty for their future with a significantly negative impact on their health and wellbeing. The results of these interviews support this latter perspective and show that these workers do not experience freedom and autonomy, but rather lowered social status, insecurity and serious limitations to their ability to manage their health, psychological well-being and social relations.

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