The health and well-being of individuals are two dimensions around which researchers and policymakers are re-arranging the debate on how to foster the progress of societies. Health and well-being have an intrinsic value, which should be part of the very definition of progress, and also a societal one because of their direct connection with issues such as labour force participation, productivity and sustainability. The aim of this report is to contribute to this debate, building on Eurofound’s European Working Conditions Surveys(EWCS), which have proven to be a valuable source of information on the topic since the early 1990s. Offering a very detailed view of working conditions, the surveys provide the unique opportunity to study the relationship of work with many health dimensions and, in the fifth EWCS, with a measure of emotional and psychological well-being of individuals.
In the current EU debate on labour market and employment policies, the concept of ‘flexicurity’ – the balance between the flexibility and security needs of employers and employees – has emerged as a central issue. This report puts forward four key indicators to be taken into account in the discussion on flexicurity: objective job insecurity, subjective job insecurity, employability and vulnerability. The analysis is based on findings from the fourth European Working Conditions Survey carried out across 31 countries, including the 27 EU Member States. An executive summary is available.