FSD2516 Temporary Agency Work in Health Care 2006

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  • Palukka, Hannele (University of Tampere. Department of Sociology and Social Psychology)
  • Tiilikka, Tiina (University of Tampere. Department of Sociology and Social Psychology)


autonomy at work, conditions of employment, employee leasing, health professionals, health services, nurses, physicians, temporary employment, working conditions, workplace relations

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The survey focused on temporary agency workers in the health care sector in Finland. The main themes were the characteristics of temporary work, working conditions, autonomy at work, work atmosphere, and the impact of young children to work situation.

The respondents (doctors and nurses) were asked how many months it took them to find their first job after graduation, whether the first job was permanent or fixed-term, and whether it was commensurate with their education. Periods of unemployment during the past three years, years/months of working in health care, years/months of doing temporary agency work, and hours worked per week were charted.

Characteristics of temporary agency work were studied with questions on reasons for taking up such work (open-ended), working time and schedule, type of workplace, job title (open-ended), changes in employment and contract, future prospects, sufficiency of work offers, availability of trade union and occupational safety services, and experiences of being subjected to mental or physical violence. Autonomy at work was surveyed with a few questions relating to the amount of control over facilities, own time use and patient care. Further questions explored possible causes of difficulties at work, work atmosphere, and possibilities to attend job-related training. One topic covered income from temporary agency work.

The respondents with children aged under 10 were asked whether the family had used paternity leave or child-care leave, whether the respondents had done temporary work during parental leave, what kind of impact parental leave had had on their occupational status and contract, and whether their family situation had had an effect on their choice of temporary employment.

Background variables included the respondent's gender, year of birth, vocational education, year when completed the vocational education, country where obtained the vocational qualification, household composition, number and age of children, and whether R was a citizen of Finland or not.

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