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'A unique working environment': health, sickness and absence management in UK call centres

Taylor, Phil and Baldry, Chris and Bain, Peter and Ellis, Vaughan (2003) 'A unique working environment': health, sickness and absence management in UK call centres. Work, Employment and Society, 17 (3). pp. 435-458. ISSN 0959-0170

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Abstract

This article fills an important gap in our knowledge of call centres by focusing specifically on occupational ill-health. We document the recent emergence of health and safety concerns, assess the responses of employers and the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), critique the existing regulatory framework and present a holistic diagnostic model of occupationally induced ill-health. This model is utilized to investigate quantitative and qualitative data from a case study in the privatized utility sector, where the relative contributions to employee sickness and ill-health from factors relating to ergonomics, the built environment and work organization are evaluated. The principal conclusions are that the distinctive character of call-handling is the major cause of occupational ill-health and that effective remedial action would involve radical job re-design. Finally, the limitations of recent HSE guidance are exposed and industrial relations processes and outcomes analysed.

Item type: Article
ID code: 4164
Keywords: call centres, health and safety, sickness absence, absence management, trade unions, work, employment, management science, Management. Industrial Management, Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management, Economics and Econometrics, Accounting, Sociology and Political Science
Subjects: Social Sciences > Industries. Land use. Labor > Management. Industrial Management
Department: Strathclyde Business School > Human Resource Management
Related URLs:
    Depositing user: Strathprints Administrator
    Date Deposited: 03 Oct 2007
    Last modified: 19 Aug 2014 13:41
    URI: http://strathprints.strath.ac.uk/id/eprint/4164

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