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How do you feel as an hourly employee? Large research project at the University of Gävle

2022-07-11 

How does it affect people to be forced to chase the hours and how do you feel after you stop working as an hourly employee? For six years, researchers in occupational health science at the University of Gävle will investigate the conditions for hourly employees in Sweden today.

Hands in hands

Researchers in Gävle follow 700 hourly employees for six years to get answers about their work environment and health. Photo: TT

Man smiling and looking at the camera

P.h.D in Medicine, associate professor in Occupational health science

700 hourly employees are being studied

The researchers in Gävle follow, for six years, 700 hourly employees to get answers about, among other things, their work environment and health, but also how hourly temporary employment in the workplace affect them with permanent employment.

Approximately 15 percent of the employees in Sweden have temporary employment and within the municipal elderly care, fifth of the all the employees are on a hourly basis. according to statistics from Sweden's municipalities and regions, SKR. In many municipalities, however, the figures are considerably higher and the number of hourly employees in elderly care increased during the pandemic.

- Elderly care has a great need for staff and often uses short-term employees and substitutes but is the working environment of hourly employees good enough? askes David Hallman, associate professor of occupational health science at the University of Gävle.

Concerned questions

Examples of Questions that researchers ask are:

  • Is it common that hourly substitutes do not earn enough to manage their finances?
  • Do hourly substitutes feel like a part of the working group?
  • Does the physical strain at work look the same for hourly substitute as permanent employees?
  • How is the knowledge about hygiene routines conveyed to this group, do they get protective clothing and the opportunity to change their work clothes between shifts?
  • Could it be that you are treated differently as an hourly substitute depending on where you were born?
Man looking sternly in to the camera

Sven Svensson, senior lecturer in occupational health science

Difficult to get compensation in case of illness

Employees on what work for hourly pay doesn’t always have the right to sickness compensation, if the person is ill, they therefore do not receive compensation, which can affect whether the employee goes to work despite illness.

- We have asked them if they went to work even though they were ill, how many days they possibly worked despite illness and why in such a case they went to work, says Sven Svensson, senior lecturer in occupational health science at the University of Gävle.

The registers that the researchers have access to also give them the opportunity to follow the hourly employees even after the six years to see what happens when they may have stopped working as hourly employees,

- We will be able to see if jobs with insecure employment led to a poorer work environment and health, test what works, but also see what is experienced positively in the work, says Sven Svensson.

- Because we work so closely with companies and municipalities, they can directly, with the help of our research, develop the operations so to make it better for the work environment and for the employees, says David Hallman.

Facts

The six-year research program is funded by Forte and led by Gunnar Bergström, professor of occupational health science at the University of Gävle.

Data at the organizational level are collected from the participating companies and municipalities. This is done through extensive surveys, with questions about, among other things, physical strain, gender equality and the uncertainty in employment. This makes it easier for researchers to compare the different jobs with each other,

In addition to David Hallman, associate professor of occupational health science at the University of Gävle, and Sven Svensson, senior lecturer in occupational health science at the University of Gävle, other researchers will also analyze more aspects of the employments in the study.

Contact

David Hallman, docent i arbetshälsovetenskap vid Högskolan i Gävle
Tel: 073-626 64 13
E-post: David.Hallman@hig.se
Research presentation David Hallman

Sven Svensson, lektor i arbetshälsovetenskap vid Högskolan i Gävle
Tel: 070-279 22 06
E-post: sven.svensson@hig.se
Research presentation Sven Svensson

Published by: Veronica Liljeroth Page responsible: Anders Munck Updated: 2022-07-11
Högskolan i Gävle
www.hig.se
Box 801 76 GÄVLE
026-64 85 00 (växel)