HERU Postdoctoral Fellowship: Impact of working conditions on absenteeism in the public healthcare sector: exploring the role of job-satisfaction and mental illness on absenteeism

This project investigated the role of job satisfaction and mental illness on work absenteeism in the public healthcare sector.

Using secondary data-sources, the project explored sickness absenteeism variations within the public sector. Distinctively, the public sector was segmented into vocational and non-vocational sectors, assuming that vocation leads to differing degrees of job attachment and hence alter sickness leave.

Outcome and Translation

Increased absenteeism is costly for NHS employers and may compromise the quality of care to patients. It is important to understand the role of non-pecuniary organisational factors, as well as health-related factors as determinants of work absenteeism. Results provide more insights on the role of organisational and health-related factors on work absenteeism in the public healthcare sector.

HERU researchers involved in this research project: Ourega-Zoé Ejebu and Diane Skåtun


Ejebu, O. and Skåtun, D. (2018) 'Vocation, mental illness and the absenteeism decision', Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, 60(12), 1136-1142.


Ejebu, O. and Skåtun, D. (2015) 'Mental illness and sickness absenteeism among workers: evidence from the BHPS', Nordic Health Economists' Study Group (NHESG), Uppsala University, Sweden, 19 - 21 August 2015.

Ejebu, O. and Skåtun, D. (2017) 'Cyclicality in work absenteeism across employment sector: an exploratory study of the role of vocation in public health sector using UK HLS', Scottish Economic Society Annual Conference 2017, Mercure Perth Hotel, Perth, 24 April 2017.