THE EMPLOYMENT DOSAGE: HOW MUCH WORK IS NEEDED FOR HEALTH AND WELLBEING? (2018-2020)
The Employment Dosage project, investigated whether it is possible to quantify the dosage of work needed to safeguard an individual’s health and wellbeing. In other words, what is the minimum dosage of paid work that is necessary to get the psycho-social benefits of employment? We have published a paper in Social Science and Medicine (open access) that was covered extensively in the UK and around the world and continue to receive invitations to speak about it. This paper used data from the UK Household Longitudinal Study (2009–2018) to look at how subjective wellbeing changes as people’s hours or work change. It found that eight hours’ work was sufficient to get the wellbeing benefits that paid work is known to provide. We have also prepared a paper which is looking at the role job quality plays in producing mental health outcomes. This paper demonstrates how quality of a job is more important than quantity. Another paper examines how active labour market policies affects men’s and women’s mental health.
We have also been interviewing people who voluntarily work less than 30 hours a week. This has included people across a wide range of occupations and working patterns from those who only work a few days a month, to those on a standard four-day a week contract and have published and open access paper on what motivates people to reduce their working hours for reasons other than childcare and have prepared a paper on how working less affects people’s wellbeing.
Funder: The Cambridge Political Economy Trust
Team: Dr Daiga Kamerāde (University of Salford), University of Cambridge: Prof. Brendan Burchell, Dr Ursula Balderson, Dr Adam Coutts, Dr Senhu Wang