A study of work and health transitions: analysis of Understanding Society

Publication type


Series Number



DWP Research Reports


Publication date

July 15, 2021


This research was commissioned to further our understanding of the dynamics of work and health transitions. The research acknowledges the importance of developing more targeted, personalised and efficient interventions to improve the employment rate among people affected by ill health and disability. Having a detailed understanding of work and health dynamics helps inform our strategy to prevent health-related job loss and support more people affected by ill health or disability into work.

The work uses Understanding Society, a large and detailed longitudinal survey, to explore the pattern, distribution and underlying causes of transitions in employment status that are influenced by health or disability.

The multi-method programme of analysis includes: 1) An assessment of the association between changes in health and subsequent changes in employment status, including factors that influence this relationship, using multiple logistic regression ; 2) An examination of the durations of time spent in different states of health, using survival analysis ; 3) An exploration of the patterns of employment status and job satisfaction over time following a change in health status, using sequence analysis.

The findings of the research help us consider more sophisticated approaches to work and health policy interventions and provide direction for future research.






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