Which jobs were more prone to unreasonable treatment?

Like age, the level of income an employee earned in his or her job was a low-level effect but with significance across several different types of unreasonable treatment. Yet, where getting older reduced the experience of unreasonable treatment, higher income made it more likely. Multivariate analysis showed that, irrespective of age, job tenure and so on, a slightly better paying job meant putting up with a bit more unreasonable treatment.

In fact it is not so hard to imagine why earning a little more might increase exposure to someone withholding information which affects one's performance, pressure from someone else to do work below one's level of competence, pressure not to claim an entitlement or being given an unmanageable workload. The same is true of the next occupational characteristic that put employees at greater risk of unreasonable treatment.

While not being as big a risk factor as having a disability, having managerial or supervisory responsibilities clearly increased the likelihood of unreasonable treatment, particularly having one's views and opinions ignored, bearing an unmanageable workload and finding one's employer failing to follow proper procedures. Clearly, employees who did not have managerial duties might well be less likely to expect their opinions to be taken into account and less likely to know what procedures were used and what proper ones would look like. This was, after all, implied earlier in the chapter when we suggested that higher level employees might have lower expectations of rational behaviour. Similarly, it might not be hard to see why employees with managerial responsibilities, like employees with greater incomes, might be at greater risk of unmanageable workloads or impossible deadlines. As one of the senior managers from Strand said, these were a normal part of 'the management challenge'.

Now, as in the previous section, we think it is worth pointing out which findings our data did not produce. In this case we did not find that those who were in the worst jobs received the most unreasonable treatment. Once income and managerial duties were taken into account, the type of occupation they were in did not matter at all. There is nothing here to suggest worse treatment of the vulnerable, the marginalised or those who have few options in the labour market.

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