Politiques et données sur l'emploi

Health and Work


Health is a critical labour market determinant. Healthy people are more likely to be employed, have a good job and retire later, while people experiencing health issues or disabilities are more likely to see their labour market chances deteriorating, lose employment and struggle in finding a new job. The relationship between health and work is complex and bidirectional. While disability and health affect work, work can also affect health. The latter effect is multifarious; while a bad job can deteriorate health, moving from unemployment into good work can improve health. The COVID-19 crisis reinforced the critical links between health and work in various ways, including by showing how important it is to have effective systems in place for workers to self-isolate quickly while protecting their health, their jobs and their incomes.

Digitalisation, globalisation, population ageing and climate change are changing labour markets in many ways, and this change is affecting people with disability at least as much as other groups of the population. This is a good moment to take stock of: the impact of the new employment oriented disability policy paradigm developed more than 15 years ago which has contributed to a change in policy thinking and policy making; the reasons for the large and persistent disability employment gap in most OECD countries; and challenges and opportunities arising in the new world of work.   A review of mental health and work policies in a number of countries revealed the challenge of mental health for social and labour market policies and the high costs of the continued stigmatisation of mental health for individuals, employers and societies. In response, in December 2015 health and employment ministers from all OECD countries endorsed a Recommendation of the OECD Council on “Integrated Mental Health, Skills, and Work Policy”. Five years later, it is time to assess the progress achieved in the four policy areas covered by the Recommendation (youth policy, workplace policy, health policy, welfare policy).


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