More Less

Covid-19 has caused a spike in mental ill health; Security workers at Germany's international airports go on strike

Covid-19 has caused a spike in mental ill health; Security workers at Germany's international airports go on strike

Today’s global news summary brings news from the UK, Germany, and Guernsey and discusses issues as diverse as mental health, working conditions, and gender equality. 
 


Covid-19 has caused a spike in mental ill health in the UK
Demography, family, and gender
The Royal College of Psychiatrists has said that the Covid-19 pandemic has led to unprecedented demand of referrals for specialist NHS mental health care. According to NHS Digital, and as reported by The BBC, in 2021 there have been 4.3 million referrals for conditions including anxiety and depression. In comparison, there were around 3.8 million referrals in 2020 and in 2019. A government spokesperson has announced that “an additional £2.3 billion a year [will be invested] into mental health services by 2023/24, on top of the £500 million [that] have made available to address the impact of the pandemic.”

IZA World of Labor author Richard Layard warns that: “People with a mental illness are less likely to be working and, if working, are more likely to be out sick or working below par.” However, in his article he writes that: “Progress in evidence-based psychological therapies, especially cognitive behavioral therapy, has resulted in 50% recovery rates for people with clinical depression or chronic anxiety disorders and substantial improvements for others.”

Related content
IZA World of Labor articles
The relationship between recessions and health
The economics of mental health

Key topics
Covid-19—Pandemics and the labor market
National responses to Covid-19

Opinions
Lifestyle and mental health disruptions during Covid-19

IZA Discussion Papers
Societal Movement Restrictions and Adverse Mental Health Outcomes
"The Better You Feel, the Harder You Fall": Health Perception Biases and Mental Health among Chinese Adults during the COVID-19 Pandemic
Improving Women's Mental Health during a Pandemic


Security workers at Germany's international airports go on strike
Labor markets and institutions
A number of airports across Germany are facing flight delays and cancelations as security staff has gone on strike, demanding better pay and working conditions. Hundreds of flights have been cancelled as those employees who have gone on strike include people working on check-in desks as well as those overseeing cargo operations. The Verdi trade union foresaw the strike lasting all day at Berlin, Düsseldorf, Bremen, Hanover, Leipzig and Cologne/Bonn airports on Monday, 14th March, with a later announcement that Munich’s airport was also joining. Workers at Frankfurt airport, one of the busiest airports in the country, are set to strike on Tuesday, March 15th. “Workers are demanding a pay rise of at least €1 ($1.10) per hour as conditions for airport personnel have become increasingly strenuous since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic,” Deutsche Welle reports.

Alex Bryson has looked into the economic implications of union wage bargaining for workers, firms, and society. “Unions continue to affect wage rises and reduce wage inequality despite reductions in their bargaining power. Society and firms can benefit when the union wage premium is the result of productivity growth. However, if raised wages come at the expense of normal profits, this can damage the prospects of firms and employment growth—to the long-term detriment of all,” he writes in his article.

Related content
IZA World of Labor articles
Do trade unions in Central and Eastern Europe make a difference?
Union wage effects

Key topics
Trade unions and collective bargaining
Covid-19—Pandemics and the labor market
National responses to Covid-19

IZA Discussion Papers
Fairness Considerations in Labor Union Wage Setting: A Theoretical Analysis

In Guernsey tackling gender equality begins by setting up an action group
Program evaluation| Demography, family, and gender
As reported by ITV News, following a Chamber of Commerce event held on Tuesday, March 8th, an action group has been set up in order to tackle gender equality issues. Diane de Garis, Vice President of Guernsey Chamber of Commerce believes that more needs to be done in order to establish equality in business. “Women are 51% of the population and they’re not 51% of the decision makers at the moment,” she added. Within a year de Gries hopes for “equal pay, childcare opportunities [and] better choices for women”, amongst others.

“Childcare services could help encourage parents—in particular, mothers—to take part in the labor force,” Daniela Vuri writes. “However, if such services are not sufficient to meet demand, are too expensive, or are incompatible with the needs of parents (usually mothers) who work full-time—for instance because of inconvenient opening and closing hours, centers being too far away—this could severely affect their work possibilities.” Read the full article.

Related content
IZA World of Labor articles
Equal pay legislation and the gender wage gap
Wage compression and the gender pay gap
Gender diversity in teams
Do childcare policies increase maternal employment?

Key topics
What is the gender divide?

Opinions
Can we use trade policy to achieve gender equality?

Videos
Nina Smith on the gender pay gap: An interview with with Daniel S. Hamermesh
Interview with Antti Kauhanen on gender differences in corporate hierarchies
Gender discrimination and sexual harassment: A discussion with Joni Hersch
The gender pay gap: Solomon W. Polachek in conversation with Daniel S. Hamermesh