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Insecure work is affecting the mental health of Millennials

This group of people are more likely to have suffered from poor mental health than those in more secure employment

Unstable and part-time positions as well as cases of underemployment are affecting the mental health of younger workers, according to a new report.

A recent research study has highlighted the problems that can arise from temporary and part-time positions for millennial workers. This group of people are more likely to have suffered from poor mental health than those in more secure employment.

There are currently over 32 million people in work, which is a record figure, but we are also seeing the demand for mental health provision rising. Every year 25% of UK adults will have a diagnosable mental health condition.

Being in fulfilling employment can reduce the number of mental health problems, but having negative feelings towards work can produce the opposite effect.

Effect of Work on Mental Health

The report, which was carried out by the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) and Business in the Community, shows that younger workers who have an unstable position, or are overqualified or underemployed, are 29% more at risk from experiencing poor wellbeing or mental health, compared with those who have permanent work.

The research also found that 22% of younger graduates who are overqualified for their current position will suffer from periods of depression or anxiety. The figure for graduates in managerial or professional roles is just 16%.

Less Secure Economy

There has been a rise in the number of millennials who find themselves in less secure jobs compared with past generations, as these type of roles are becoming more commonplace in the UK economy.

Compared to those who started work a decade ago, today’s younger employees have a 60% higher chance of being underemployed, working fewer hours than they want to. They are also twice as likely to be overqualified for the role and 82% more workers between the ages of 21 and 25 are in low paid positions, compared with the period from 1990 to 2015.

Supporting Workers

As part of their commitment to protecting those who are affected by the instability of certain jobs and working to support employees with mental health difficulties, two government commissioned reviews have taken place.

The Taylor Review has recently been published which focuses on these new forms of work and the impact they have on the rights and responsibilities of workers, along with the freedoms and obligations of employers.

Another review led by Paul Farmer and Lord Stevenson will concentrate on how employees with mental health problems can be better supported.

On top of these reviews, more action is needed from employers and the government to promote higher quality employment that benefits from flexibility, but also enables employees to feel that they are in control.

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