Objective: This study examined the distribution of perceived workplace justice and examined the modifying effects of gender, age and enterprise size on the associations between workplace justice and poor health.
Methods: A total of 9,636 male and 7,406 female employees from a national survey conducted in 2007 in Taiwan were studied. A self-administered questionnaire was used to assess workplace justice (9 items), psychosocial work conditions, self-rated health and burnout status.
Results: A clear gradient was observed across employment grades, with employees of lower grades reporting lower workplace justice. Government employees were found to have higher levels of workplace justice than those in private sectors, and among those in private sectors, female employees in larger enterprises were found to have significantly lower workplace justice. Multivariate regression analyses showed that employees with workplace justice in the lowest tertile had increased scores in work-related burnout (11.0 and 12.8 points in men and women, respectively) and increased risks for poor self-rated health (OR = 2.5, 2.6) as compared to those with workplace justice in the highest tertile. The associations were stronger in younger groups than in older groups, and in female employees of larger enterprises than those of smaller enterprises.
Conclusion: Employees with lower socioeconomic position and female employees in larger enterprises might be more likely to be exposed to work practices that give rise to the sense of injustice. The underlying mechanisms for the observed stronger associations between lower workplace justice and poor health in younger groups and in workers of larger enterprises deserve further investigation.