A Critical Examination of Workplace Wellbeing and Employment Experiences
Ngocha-Chaderopa, Nyemudzai Esther
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Using a critical feminist ontological and epistemological paradigm, this qualitative thesis examines the intersections between well-being and workplace experiences. This examination is conducted within the context of the New Zealand Aged Residential Care sector (ARC) which is increasingly relying on migrants to address the labour shortages in the sector. Despite the increased participation of migrants in the aged care sector, there is still a dearth of studies that examine the well-being and work experiences interface. The thesis finds that workplace well-being is influenced by three interconnected factors. First, are the migrants’ pre-migration experiences and migrant identities which influence their participation in low status aged care jobs. Second, are work environment factors, for example, the nature of the aged care job as ‘dirty body work’, heavy workloads, work intensification, irregular work hours and shifts, and the perceptions of discrimination which impact the migrants’ physical, social, psychological, emotional and spiritual well-being. Finally, the neoliberal business policy environment within which the aged care facilities operate, for example, the neoliberal tenet of commodification of labour produces largely negative work conditions that impact well-being. This thesis encourages more reflection by all key ARC stakeholders about the participation of migrants to improve their workplace well-being.