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Work, Worklessness, and the Political Economy of Health$
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Clare Bambra

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199588299

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199588299.001.0001

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Health related worklessness

Health related worklessness

(p.130) Chapter 6 Health related worklessness
Work, Worklessness, and the Political Economy of Health

Clare Bambra

Oxford University Press

The previous chapter examined how one form of worklessness — unemployment — is associated with an increased risk of ill-health and mortality. This chapter examines the opposite relationship, in which the development of ill-health can result in long-term worklessness. The first section examines health-related worklessness within the UK social security system. Four key issues in current social policy debates about health-related worklessness are then examined: hidden unemployment, cultures of worklessness, the medicalization of sickness absence, and the reserve army of labour thesis. The chapter then examines socio-economic inequalities in the employment consequences of ill-health. The final section takes a more international approach by comparing health-related worklessness by welfare state regime.

Keywords:   ill-health, unemployment, UK, social security system, social policy, health, sickness absence, reserve army of labour

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