The hidden effects of work on the health of people in unemployment: The case of assisted job-contracts in the RMI

Report: Health and work
By Nathalie Frigul

This article focuses on categories of workers concerned with assisted job-contracts in the context of insertion policies. These candidates have dropped in status, improving intermittent and unstable professional “careers” with increasingly long periods of unemployment before entering welfare dependency. Social aid (the RMI, currently known as the RSA) is the emblematic figure of these programs. Usually considered on the fringe of ordinary employment, these contracts are described as a necessary step on the road back to work. One of the paradoxes lies in the fact that these jobs may have occupational exposures which, in previous activity, have been liable to cause damage to health. With case studies and reconstitutions of work and health courses of persons going back to work, we will study the ways in which actors, people living on welfare and social workers have approached these questions about health, how they did (or did not) articulate them with work and employment conditions, often contributing while hiding their occupational backgrounds.


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