Investigating the effect of the London living wage on the psychological wellbeing of low-wage service sector employees: a feasibility study
Journal of Public Health
Oxford University Press (OUP) for Royal Colleges of Physicians of the United Kingdom, Faculty of Public Health
© The Author 2013. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Faculty of Public Health. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: email@example.com.
Background Working poverty has become a major public health concern in recent times, and low-paid, insecure employment has been widely linked to poor psychological wellbeing. The London Living Wage (LLW) campaign aims to ensure employees receive adequate pay. The objective of this study is to investigate whether working for a LLW employer predicted higher levels of psychological wellbeing among low-wage service sector employees. Methods Workplace interviews were conducted with 300 service sector employees in London; 173 of whom were in LLW workplaces. Positive psychological wellbeing was measured using the Warwick-Edinburgh Mental Wellbeing Scale. Multivariate linear regression was used to assess whether working for a LLW employer was associated with greater psychological wellbeing, adjusting for hypothesised confounding and mediating factors. Results After adjustment, respondents working for LLW employers had wellbeing scores 3.9 units higher on average than those who did not (95% CI: 1.8, 6.0). These empirical results are complemented by methodological findings regarding the difficulties associated with accessing the study group. Conclusions Those who worked for a LLW employer had significantly higher psychological wellbeing on average than those who did not. This was shown to be irrespective of any differences in the socioeconomic or demographic composition of these two groups.
This work was supported by Trust for London. S.C. and E.F. are supported by a UK National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Senior Fellowship to S.C.
This is the author accepted manuscript. The final version is available from OUP via the DOI in this record
Vol. 36 (2), pp. 187 - 193