Linking Employee and Organizational Health
Edited by Ronald J. Burke and Astrid M. Richardsen
Chapter 6: Implementing the Quebec ‘Healthy Enterprise’ standard: considering readiness for change and psychosocial safety climate
In Canada in 2011, 85 percent of long-term disabilities and 83 percent of short-term disabilities were related to mental health or behavioral problems, representing the first cause of long-term and short-term disabilities (Towers Watson, 2012, p. 10). Regarding compensations for mental health problems ordered by the courts, there has been an increase of almost 700 percent from 2005 to 2010 (Shain and Nassar, 2009, p. 7). Several studies over the past two decades have highlighted that exposure to psychosocial constraints, such as poor decisional latitude, high job demands, effort–reward imbalance and poor social support at work, or the combination of these factors – increase the risks of physical and psychological ill-health (Siegrist et al., 1990; Marmot et al., 1997; Ferrie et al., 2005; Kivimäki et al., 2006; Aboa-Eboule et al., 2007; Vézina et al., 2011). About 20 percent of Canadian workers are exposed to these adverse psychosocial factors (Brisson et al., 2001). In the province of Quebec, a survey on working conditions, employment and health and safety (Vézina et al., 2011) conducted among a representative sample of 5071 workers, showed that 49 percent of workers reported low decision latitude, 48 percent reported low social support at work, 38 percent reported high psychological demands and nearly 25 percent were exposed to an imbalance between effort and rewards. In terms of psychological health, 33 percent of Quebec workers reported moderate or high levels of psychological distress, and 12 percent report depressive symptoms.
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