Introduction to the WHO Commission on Social Determinants of Health Employment Conditions Network (EMCONET) study, with a glossary on employment relations

Joan Benach, Carles Muntaner, Orielle Solar, Vilma Santana, Michael Quinlan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

21 Citations (Scopus)


Although the conditions and power relations of employment are known to be crucial health determinants for workers and their families, the nature of these relations and their effects on health have yet to be fully researched. Several types of employment-precarious employment in developed countries; informal sectors, child labor, slavery, and bonded labor in developing countries-expose workers to risky working conditions. Hazardous work and occupation-related diseases kill approximately 1,500 workers, globally, every day. Growing scientific evidence suggests that particular employment conditions, such as job insecurity and precarious employment, create adverse health effects; yet the limited number of studies and the poor quality of their methods prevent our understanding, globally, the complexity of employer-employee power relations, working conditions, levels of social protections, and the reality of employment-related health inequalities. This article introduces a special section on employment-related health inequalities, derived from the EMCONET approach, which focuses on (1) describing major methods and sources of information; (2) presenting theoretical models at the micro and macro levels; (3) presenting a typology of labor markets and welfare states worldwide; (4) describing the main findings in employment policies, including four key points for implementing strategies; and (5) suggesting new research developments, a policy agenda, and recommendations. This introduction includes a glossary of terms in the emerging area of employment conditions and health inequalities.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)195-207
Number of pages13
JournalInternational Journal of Health Services
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2010 Jan 1


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Policy

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