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Work, Working Conditions and Worker Productivity

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This chapter investigates the connection between mental health and work and presents new evidence on the position of persons with mental health problems in the labour market in a number of OECD countries. The findings show that, despite the positive effects of employment on mental health, too many persons with a mental disorder are out of work. Persons with a severe mental disorder are 6‐7 times more likely to be unemployed than people with no such disorder, and those with a common mental disorder 2‐3 times. At the same time, however, the findings also suggest that more persons with a mental disorder are employed than is generally thought. This confirms the urgent need to address mental health issues at the workplace since many jobs or particular tasks can cause job strain and exacerbate mental illness. To ensure that workers with poor mental health can retain their jobs and work productively is therefore a key objective calling for policies to improve job quality, working conditions and management practices to prevent unnecessary exclusion from the labour market.

Document Type: Review Article

Publication date: 2012-01-01

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