23 August 2021

Marginal part-timers experience poorer health and safety than full time workers

A new study demonstrates a correlation between low number of weekly work hours and poor health and safety at the work place.

This study aimed to evaluate characteristics of the work environment, job insecurity, and health of marginal part-time workers (8.0-14.9 hours/week) compared with full-time workers (32.0-40.0 hours/week).

The study population included employees in the survey Work Environment and Health in Denmark (WEHD) in 2012, 2014, or 2016 (n = 34 960). Survey information from WEHD on work environment and health was linked with register-based information of exposure based on working hours 3 months prior to the survey, obtained from the register Labour Market Account. Associations between marginal part-time work and work environment and health were assessed using logistic regression models.

In conclusion, our findings show that marginal part-time workers have a poorer psychosocial work environment and safety, more job insecurity and poorer health than full-time workers, which is not explained by age, gender, socioeconomic status, or treatment-requiring illness (in health outcomes). These results suggest that marginal part-time workers are a vulnerable group of workers with an accumulation of unfavorable characteristics of the work environment and health. Prospective studies are needed to determine the direction of the revealed associations between marginal part-time work and work environment and health along with any potential mediating effect of work environment on health.

Helena Breth Nielsen, Laura Stonor Gregersen, Emma Steffensen Bach, Johnny Dyreborg, Anna Ilsøe, Trine Pernille Larsen, Kathrine Pape, Jacob Pedersen, Anne Helene Garde (2021): A comparison of work environment, job insecurity, and health between marginal part-time workers and full-time workers in Denmark using pooled register data, Journal of Occupational Health, 63 (1):e12251.