Domenighetti G.,University delta Svizzera Italiana
Ricerca e Pratica | Year: 2014
This paper looks at the health and social consequences of "job insecurity" (the subjective and/or objective fear of losing one's current job), a relatively unexplored phenomenon which may involve between 14 and 42% of workers, depending on whether the economy is in a period of expansion or recession. For many, this phenomenon precedes the entry phase of unemployment. The impact on health of this condition is significant and many authors consider it even more important than unemployment itself. This brief review of the scientific literature suggests that the emotions related to job insecurity cause significantly high level of stress, depressive symptoms, musculoskeletal problems, cardiovascular morbidity and related mortality, etc. Furthermore, work-based relationships with colleagues and superiors, self-esteem, family relationships, and sexuality as well, can be negatively affected. The size of the risks associated with these factors is strongly associated with the duration of the period of uncertainty and with how it is endured by the individual, as these will directly influence the occurrence and intensity of the stress perceived by the worker. The review also suggests that employees with high levels of education have greater difficulty in coping with job insecurity. In fact, investing in career and personal expectations is generally considered more important among highly educated people; this could more easily result in feelings of lack of achievement. There is no doubt that the major determinants of health lie, as they always have, in the social and economic environment; any remedial measures can therefore only be established within the same context.