How financial cutbacks affect the quality of jobs and care for the elderly

Diane Burns, Paula Hyde, Anne Killett

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


Based on case studies in 12 nursing homes in the United Kingdom, the authors illustrate how financial cutbacks affect job quality and the quality of care. The dimensions of job quality that suffered most were those directly related to the ability of workers to provide care: reductions in staffing, longer working hours, and work intensification. Cuts to labor costs eroded the quality of workers’ jobs in all 12 homes but with two differential outcomes: in seven homes, care quality was maintained, and in five homes, it deteriorated. Care quality was maintained in homes where a patient-centered care approach and remaining job quality allowed workers to develop work-arounds to protect residents from spillover effects. Care quality declined in homes where custodial approaches to care and low job quality did not provide workers the time or resources to protect residents or to maintain prior levels of care. A tipping point was reached, leading to a spillover into impoverished care.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)991-1016
JournalIndustrial and Labor Relations Review
Issue number4
Early online date29 Mar 2016
Publication statusPublished - 2016


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