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Globalisation and workplace mental health

As a result of the liberalisation of trade and the exchange of goods and services between countries, globalisation has had a significant impact on social equity. Globalisation has led to a widening gap between the rich and the poor, and workers in developing countries in particular have been marginalised. Furthermore, changes in the nature of work as a result of globalisation have resulted in additional demands on individuals with regards to skills and training, creating additional barriers to employment for those vulnerable to CMDs.

Globalisation has created an enormous drive to keep labour costs low. This has led to the exploitation of employees who are not rewarded financially and are often victims of cost-cutting by their employers, leading to them working in hazardous conditions. In many developing countries, occupational health is not a significant government priority and hence the beneficiaries of globalisation are able to continue to exploit these vulnerable workers.

The processes of modernisation and industrialisation that has accompanied globalisation have led to a maldistribution of poverty and income levels. In particular, 89% of workers in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia earn less than US$2 per day. There is a higher representation of workers in the informal economy in developing countries, which comprises 47% of the workforce, compared with only 15% in developing countries.