Erica Di Ruggiero
Victoria College, Vic Chapel (VC213), 91 Charles St. W
  • April 11, 2019 from 4:00pm to 6:00pm

DLSPH presents the John R. Evans Lectureship in Global Health featuring Dr. Joan Benach, Director of the Health Inequalities Research Group at Pompeu Fabra University in Barcelona, Spain.

Join us on April 11 for an enlightening talk by Dr. Benach followed by a local panel that will explore issues related to the complexity of employer-employee power relations, working conditions, levels of social protections, and the reality of employment-related health inequalities with the advent of the gig economy.


Dr. Joan Benach, Director, Health Inequalities Research Group, Pompeu Fabra University (Barcelona, Spain)


  • Dr. Donald Cole, Professor of Epidemiology and Clinical Public Health, DLSPH; Adjunct Scientist, Institute for Work and Health.
  • Dr. Erica Di Ruggiero, Director of the Office of Global Public Health Education & Training, Assistant Professor in the Division of Social and Behavioural Health Sciences, DLSPH.
  • Juyeon Lee, Social and Behavioural Health Sciences PhD student, Collaborative Specialization in Global Health at DLSPH.


Dr. Cam Mustard, President & Senior Scientist, Institute for Work & Health; Professor of Epidemiology, DLSPH.


4:15 p.m.: Open and Welcome

4:20 p.m.: Keynote Address by Dr. Joan Benach

4:50 p.m.: Panel discussion

5:15 p.m.: Q&A

Keynote Description: The global precarization of employment and its impact on health equity through the lens of a structural and systemic integrated approach

Employment and work are essential social determinants of health inequalities. Worldwide, the precarization of employment is overwhelmingly concentrated in low-income countries where around three-fourths of workers are informally employed.

In the past decades, employment precariousness has increased in high-income countries and, as with unemployment, is concentrated among working class and youth workers, women, migrants, and ethnic minorities. Moreover, the new digital economy is exposing workers to new forms of health-damaging employment precariousness.

In spite of growing evidence linking employment and work to adverse health outcomes, a comprehensive global analysis of its structural determinants with health inequalities is limited or neglected. Main research challenges include: the need to develop better definitions and information systems, detailed analyses on pathways and mechanisms and, overall, the use of structural and systemic integrated approaches.

Action is urgently needed to minimize if not eliminate the precarization of employment through legislation, policies, and interventions by empowering groups that represent most disadvantaged worker populations.

About Dr. Joan Benach

Dr. Joan Benach is an internationally recognized expert in the field of health inequalities, particularly on employment. His main research contributions include original analyses on precarious employment and other employment conditions, social determinants of health inequalities, the health intersections between social class, gender, migration, and geography, and health policy analysis and methods, topics in which he has extensively published. He has widely collaborated with leading international public health scientists, unions, social movements, governments and institutions, including his leadership on the Emconet Knowledge Network in the WHO Commission on Social Determinants of Health. Joan Benach leads the Health Inequalities Research Group-Employment Conditions Network (Greds-Emconet), is Co-director of the Johns Hopkins-UPF Public Policy Center, and Professor of Sociology and Public Health at the University Pompeu Fabra (Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain).

About The John R. Evans Lectureship in Global Health

The John R. Evans Lectureship in Global Health was established by Dr. David Naylor, when he was The University of Toronto’s Dean of Medicine. The lectureship acknowledges the major role Dr. Evans played in the University of Toronto’s history and his global contributions to the advancement of human health and well-being.

This event is presented by the Dalla Lana School of Public Health and Office of Global Public Health Education and Training, in partnership with the Institute for Work and Health.