In the Position Statement ‘What is Good Work?’ (2013) written by the Australasian Faculty of Occupational and Environmental Medicine (AFOEM*) of The Royal Australasian College of Physicians (RACP), it is stressed that not all work has a beneficial impact on health. They detail 5 key domains of good work, but also highlight individual differences and the importance of a good fit between the individual and the work tasks and environment. What is beneficial for one person may be harmful for another. In order to reap the health, social and economic benefits of work, it is essential for governments, regulators, insurers, business leaders and employers to focus on what constitutes “good work” while also ensuring a good match between the individual and the role.
According to AFOEM’s ‘Consensus Statement on the Health Benefits of Good Work’ (2017), good work:
• is engaging, fair and respectful
• balances job demands, autonomy and job security
• accepts the importance of culture and traditional beliefs
• is characterised by safe and healthy work practices
• strikes a balance between the interests of individuals, employers and society
• requires effective change management and clear and realistic performance indicators
• matches the work to the individual
• uses transparent productivity metrics.
Under this definition of good work, they acknowledge the following principles:
• The provision of good work is a key determinant of the health and wellbeing of employees, their families and broader society.
• Long term work absence, work disability and unemployment may have a negative impact on health and wellbeing.
• All workplaces should strive to be both healthy and safe.
• Providing access to good work is an effective means of reducing poverty and social exclusion.
• With active assistance, many of those who have the potential to work, but are not currently working, can be enabled to access the benefits of good work.
• Safe and healthy work practices, understanding and accommodating cultural and social beliefs, a healthy workplace culture, effective and equitable injury management programs and positive relationships within workplaces are key determinants of individual health, wellbeing, engagement and productivity.
• Good outcomes are more likely when individuals understand, and are supported to access the benefits of good work especially when entering the workforce for the first time, seeking re-employment or recovering at work following a period of injury or illness.
For more detail and information please refer to the following references.
Royal Australasian College of Physicians (RACP) Website – Health Benefits of Good Work
‘Realising the Health Benefits of Good Work Consensus Statement’ (2017) Australasian Faculty of Occupational and Environmental Medicine (AFOEM)
‘What is Good Work?’ (2013) Australasian Faculty of Occupational and Environmental Medicine
Return to Work SA Health Benefits of Work Fact Sheet