Health and Labour Participation: Past, Present and Future
Full course description
This course WHC4004 runs in period 1, parallel to course WHC4001 Determinants of health and labour participation. In this course, that will start in the second week of the first course period, we will lay the foundation for the understanding of the historical context, basic principles, current and future challenges in health and labour partipation, as well as for various research methods and their underlying paradigms. Historically, labour started to be regarded as a public health issue during the industrialization that took place in Western countries in the 19th century. Students will learn that during that time, governments began to regard work as a risk, and that legislation was introduced, e.g. on working times. Next, a more humanistic view on issues of health and labour participation was adopted in the first half of the previous century. Students will study how this humanistic view has inspired current views on what the International Labour Organizations has labeled ‘decent work’ and the EU ‘job quality framework’ (Eurofound, 2021). Next, students will study how the aim for decent work is being challenged or even attacked by recent global developments at workplaces, the labour market and social welfare. Current developments challenge or even attack this humanistic strive for decent work, high job quality, self-growth and sustainable employability. Due to technologization, digitalization, work force demographics, globalization, climate change, COVID-19, economic conditions and urbanization, three developments can be distinguished (OECD, 2020; Schulte et al. 2020; WRR, 2020): labour market changes, societal value changes and changes in manual vs cognitive work. New hazards are recognized in the areas of psychosocial, physical, chemical and biological hazards. Finally, the implications of current developments for national occupational health and welfare policies will be addressed.
By the end of the module, students should be able to:
- Describe and summarize the history of attention for health in relation to labour participation and public health;
- Describe decent work, and relate this to the ICF model;
- Describe Maslow’s pyramid of needs and apply this
- Describe contemporary challenges in work (technologization, robotization, digitalization) and in de labor force/demographics (migration; aging workforce; caring duties) and their impact on health and labor participation.
- Describe the increased vulnerabilities in terms of health and social protection of different groups in the labour force due to these contemporary challenges;
- Define and use major theories for Health behaviour, motivation and Berlin’s theory on positive freedom in the context of contemporary challenges;
- Describe the implications of the contemporary developments for national and corporate policy and work & health consultancy;
- Search academic scientific literature (more in-depth search skills to what learned in WHC4001);
- Relate facts and moral judgement to formulate conclusions;
- discuss effectively with fellow students and teaching staff with various backgrounds during online and on campus meetings (including asking questions, answering questions, presenting);
- Be able to communicate effectively in written, academic English;
- Explain which contemporary developments still require national and corporate policy;
- Explain the implications of contemporary challenges, and the normative frameworks for work & health consultancy;
- Take part in advocacy for healthy labour participation for the various groups in the labour market;
- Understand & reflect about the merits and shortcomings of the different contemporary developments in relation to healty labour participation, for the different groups in the labour force;
- Judge about the extent to which psychological needs of different groups and the society as a whole are affected by the contemorary challenges (moral compass).
- Schulte, P. A., et al. (2020). Potential scenarios and hazards in the work of the future: a systematic review of the peer-reviewed and gray literatures. Annals of Work Exposures and Health, 64(8), 786-816. - Eurofound (2021). Working conditions and sustainable work: An analysis using the job quality framework, Challenges and prospects in the EU series. Luxembourg: Publications Office of the European Union. - Fleuren, B.P., de Grip, A., Jansen, N.W.H., Kant, IJ., Zijlstra, F.R.H. (2020). Unshrouding the sphere from the clouds: Towards a comprehensive conceptual framework for Sustainable Employability. Sustainability, 12(16), 6366. - Hazelzet, E., Picco, E., Houkes, I., Bosma, H., & de Rijk, A. (2019). Effectiveness of Interventions to Promote Sustainable Employability: A Systematic Review. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 16(11), . https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16111985 - OECD (2020). OECD Employment Outlook 2020: Worker Security and the COVID-19 Crisis. Paris: OECD Publishing. https://doi.org/10.1787/1686c758-en.