More fairness equals better health
Labour & European Law Review Weekly Issue 471 25 May 2016
According to a new study, employees who experience fairness at work report having better health.
Researchers from the University of East Anglia and Stockholm University looked at how perceptions of “procedural justice” - such as the processes that employers use to decide on pay, promotion and rewards - are related to employees’ health.
They found that when perceptions of fairness changed, the employee’s reported health also changed. For example, those who experienced more fairness on average reported better health. The finding suggests that fairness at work is a crucial aspect of the psychosocial work environment and that greater fairness can improve the health of employees.
The researchers also found that changes in employees’ health are related to changes in fairness perceptions, indicating that the health status of employees may affect how they feel they are treated at work.
The authors suggest that their findings should help raise awareness among employers that it is important to consider fairness at work as well as employees’ health in order to increase satisfaction, well-being and productivity in the workplace. They suggest that employers ensure that they routinely take the views of their employees into consideration, consult them about changes in the workplace and make decisions in an unbiased way.
The study, which focused on more than 5,800 people working in Sweden, used data which was collected between 2008 and 2014 as part of the Swedish Longitudinal Occupational Survey of Health. The study is conducted every two years and focuses on the associations between work organization, work environment and health.
Iain Birrell of Thompsons Solicitors commented “Procedural Fairness has, for years, been a core and consistent predictor of how employees feel about their jobs and employers. This study’s link to employees’ health confirms what many in practice have observed for years and which employers will recognize too, particularly as work-related stress absence. Sadly, many employers see the solution as being to sack the ailing colleague, rather than fix a lack of procedural fairness. Many organizations would see a real benefit from heeding this analysis.”
To read the study in full go to: http://www.sjweh.fi/show_abstract.php?abstract_id=3565