To examine health, job satisfaction, and behavioural risks as antecedents of selection from fixed term to permanent employment.
Prospective cohort study of change in employment contract during a two year period. Self reported health, recorded sickness absence, job satisfaction, behavioural risks, demographics, and occupational characteristics were assessed at baseline.
Hospital staff in two Finnish hospital districts.
A cohort of 526 hospital employees (54 men, 472 women) aged 20 to 58 years with a fixed term job contract at baseline.
During the follow up period, 137 became permanently employed. Men, employees in higher positions, full time workers, and those with five to eight years in the employ of the hospital were more likely to become permanently employed. After adjusting for these factors, obtaining a permanent job contract was predicted by self rated good health (odds ratio (OR) 3.90; 95% confidence intervals (CI) 1.34 to 11.36), non-caseness of psychological distress (OR 1.80; 95% CI 1.01 to 3.20), high job satisfaction (OR 1.86; CI 1.17 to 2.94), and non-sedentary life style (OR 2.64; CI 1.29 to 5.41), compared with the rest of the cohort.
Investigation of fixed term employees yields new information about selective mechanisms in employment mobility. Good health seems to promote the chances for a fixed term employee to reach a better labour market status. These results correspond to earlier research on selective mechanisms in other forms of employment mobility and provide a partial explanation for the socioeconomic gradient of health.
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