A Westminster survey recently found that your working environment is more important to your health, than dieting, smoking or alcohol.



The heart disease rate is 50% higher in lower-grade employees, and mortality rates for temporary workers are 20% higher than those for permanent workers. Those are the hard realities of what people face.



There is a world of difference of having a permanent, secure, nine-to-five job, than having a job that is part-time, low paid and subcontracted, or even worse, a zero hours contract.



The most recent figures published in September last year show that there were 264,000 underemployed people in Scotland – 10% of the workforce.



How we best tackle this problem, was debated in parliament last week, on the back of a report produced by the Scottish Parliament’s economy committee.



The report made a number of recommendations which must be given serious consideration.



It proposed measures to improve the quality of jobs, better match skills with employment opportunities, and widen access to training and work experience for those who are underemployed.



It also proposed to bring an end to zero hour contracts.



During the debate, I made the point that we have to try and use the significant powers that our parliament already has to address this growing problem.



It’s not good enough to just absolve ourselves of responsibility and point the finger elsewhere.



We have the powers to make a difference to people lives, and ensure their health and economic well-being.