Work and Health Research Lab


Visiting Researcher from Sweden

The Work and Qualitative Health Research Lab welcomed Dr. Ida Seing, a visitor from Linköping University, Sweden. On May 10, she gave a talk called, “An inclusive labour market? Labour market policy measures for people with disabilities in Sweden”. This interesting, critical empirical work led to excellent conversation about medicalization ad the conceptual border between unemployment and ill-health.


International Women’s Day event

Professor Ellen MacEachen will participate in a panel at University of Waterloo’s Virtual International Women’s Day event on March 8, 2022. Dr. MacEachen will be speaking about the design and performance of work and health systems and how these can be improved and adapted to our fast changing economic, social and technological environments.

Please join us as the University of Waterloo celebrates International Women’s Day and the achievements of women across the globe. Find out more about the University of Waterloo event or click here to register. #IWD2022 #BreakTheBias

Return to work and Union roles – Coordinator perspectives

Congratulations to lab members Pam Hopwood, Megan Crouch and Ellen MacEachen, for the following article:

Return-to-work processes can be complex, with different involved actors seeing things in different ways. This paper considers how union representatives impacted return-to-work (RTW) processes, through the views of union representatives and other RTW coordinators. We draw on standpoint approach to explore the different perspectives of union members and other stakeholders involved in the RTW process.



Congratulations Tauhid

PhD Candidate Tauhid Hossain Khan

Congratulations to PhD candidate Tauhid Hossain Khan on being awarded an International Ontario Graduate Scholarship. This is one of only five awards at the University of Waterloo. His thesis addresses the health of the growing population of self-employed workers, who currently lack social security protections available to employees, and how they manage when unable to work due to injury or illness.



Just published: Self-employment review

Little is known about how Self Employed (SE) workers are supported when they are unable to work due to illness, injury, and disability. Our paper critically reviews peer-reviewed literature focusing on advanced economies to understand how SE’d workers navigate, experience, or manage their injuries and illness when unable to work. We conducted a systematic search and screening, identifying 18 relevant articles that we critically examined and synthesized.

We found the work and health needs of different kinds of SE’d workers, taking into consideration class, gender, sector, and gig workers, are not distinguished. Many articles noted poor social security system supports. Drawing on a social justice lens, we argue that SE’d workers make significant economic contributions, and are deserving of support from social security systems when ill or injured.

Khan, T. H., MacEachen, E., Hopwood, P., & Goyal, J. (2021). Self-employment, work and health: A critical narrative review. Work (Reading, Mass.), 10.3233/WOR-213614. Advance online publication.

Congratulations Tauhid, Professor MacEachen, Pam and Julia!