In a speech to celebrate the centenary of the Joseph Rowntree Foundation in 2004, Gordon Brown, who was then Chancellor of the Exchequer, argued that the UK should aim for both 'full and fulfilling employment'. Implicit in this aspiration is the notion that just 'having a job' - regardless of its quality - is not sufficient. The objective must be to ensure that for as many people as possible, work in the UK is a source of well-being, personal growth, fulfilment, autonomy and meaning - in other words, that the jobs available in today's labour market should offer 'Good Work'. A significant weight of evidence supports the argument that job quality, employee health, and an employee's ability to perform productively at work, are closely linked. This evidence comes from a range of academic and professional disciplines. We have good epidemiological data to support the Good Jobs principle, we also have data from occupational health specialists, labour economists, educationalists and, Health and Safety specialists and HR/IR specialists. Even more encouragingly, there appears to be a broad consensus among these experts about the characteristics which define 'Good Jobs'. When we refer to 'job quality' in this report, this term should be defined as the extent to which the factors outlined below are in place a job role.
This report and the work it describes were funded by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE). Its contents, including any opinions and/or conclusions expressed, are those of the authors alone and do not necessarily reflect HSE policy.
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