The Health and Well-being of Low Paying Jobs in Southern Africa: Case Study of Security Guards in Zambia


  • Esnart Mwaba Tayali
  • Kwesi Atta Sakyi



Well-being, Sub-Saharan Africa, Security guards, labour standards, Eudaimonia, Hedomia/Hedonism


As concerns for employee well-being across all sectors increase, security guards in Southern Africa and the rest of Africa at large attract less attention in human resource management. Well-being is pivotal for positive psychological feeling of workers, and also conducive for economic growth.  Employee well-being has positive effects on company performance, profitability and growth.  Therefore, employee well-being is a cardinal factor across the globe. Security guards, like any other employees, deserve decent conditions of service, which promote their overall well-being. Youths who lack sufficient funds to pursue tertiary education in universities end up undertaking the most affordable short courses in order to see them through employment, as they are desperate for incomes to sustain themselves and families.  The commonest affordable short courses in Southern Africa include those found in jobs such as security guards, carpentry, tailoring, and cookery.  Amongst the most affordable short courses, youths prefer security guard training due to its high job market demand.  The health, safety, and quality of the physical environment, as well as the low subsistence wages for Security guards leave much to be desired.  The labour standards of security guards in Africa are unthinkable, unsatisfactory and atrocious.  This study aims at introducing essential recommendations in order to improve the well-being of security guards in southern Africa. The paper adopted a qualitative research approach by gathering information from security guards working in five different security firms in Zambia.


Borgen project. (2019). Facts about Poverty in Zambia. Available at: [Accessed: 31 March 2020].
Cavusgil S.T, Knight G., & Risenberger J. R. (2012). International Business: The New Realities.
New Jersey: Pearson Education.
Chen, P. Y., & Cooper, C. L. (Eds.) (2014). Wellbeing: A Complete Reference Guide, Work and
Wellbeing Vol. 3 Issue 1
Choudhary, S. (2017). Employee welfare: A scheme of wise investment. International Journal of
Advanced Education and Research. Vol. 2 Issue 1 pp. 01-66.
CIPD (2016). Promoting Health and Well-Being in European Workplaces. EU Briefing.
Contract Number CS08. (2012). Between UN Zambia and Armcor Security Limited. Provision
of Comprehensive Security Management Services.
Daily Nation Newspaper (2015) G4 Security guards down tools The Daily Nation Newspaper
May 19, 2015
De Simone, S. (2014). The Affective Component of Workplace Wellbeing in Organizational
Behaviour Studies. American International Journal of Contemporary Research Vol. 4 Issue 9 pp. 38-43.
Dowd, D. (2018). Importance of security officers and the role they play. Business Management.
European Commission. (2016). Health and Safety at Work. Brussels: European. Commission.
Available at: [Accessed 30 March 2020].
Fisher, C. D. (2014). Conceptualizing and Measuring Wellbeing at Work. In P. Y. Chen, & C. L.
Cooper (Eds.), Wellbeing: A Complete Reference Guide Work and Well-being Vol. 3 pp. 9-33
John Wiley & Sons.
Employment Code Act 2019 No. 3 of 2019
EUROFOUND. (2013) Health and well-being at work: a report based on the fifth European
Working Conditions Survey. Executive summary [online]. Dublin: Eurofound. Available at: [Accessed 10 March 2020].
Fisher, C. D. (2010). Happiness at work. International Journal of Management Review Vol. 12
pp. 384-412.
Gough, K.V., Chigunta, F. & Langevang, T. (2016) Expanding the scales and dimensions of
(in)security- Youth employment in urban Zambia Environment and Planning A- Sage
Journals 2016 Vol. 48 Issue 2, pp.348-366
Grant, A. M., Christianson, M. K., & Price, R. H. (2007). Happiness, health, or relationship?
Managerial practices and employee well-being trade-off. Academy of Management
Perspective Vol. 21 pp.51-63
Gunwan, H. & Amalia, R. (2015) Wages and employees performance: The quality of work life
as moderator International Journal of Economics and Financial Issues Vol. 5 Special Issue pp. 349-353
Henderson, L. (2012), Integrating the Hedonic and Eudemonic perspectives to more
comprehensively understand well-being and pathways to wellbeing Journal?
Hofstede, G.H., (2004). Culture's Consequences: International Differences in Work-Related Values
(Revised Edition). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications
Huka V. (2015) An overview of Hedonic and Eudaimonic well-being concepts.
Health and safety authority (2008). Workplace Health and Well-being Strategy Report of Expert
ILO (2019) Future of work- The Zambian Experience
ILO (2012) Decent Work Country Profile Zambia (2012).

Nick, L. & Lings, I., (2008) Doing Business Research. A guide to theory and practice London:
SAGE Publications Limited.
IMF Country Report (2006) Zambia Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (ZPRSP) - 5th
Development Plan
Karsten, L. (2017) Ubuntu as a Key Management Concept. Research Gate Publications. Security Guards [Online] mywage.org_Zambia.htm
Nyirenda, E. J., Sikazwe, A. (2003) Trade Union Country Report-Zambia Freidrich Ebert
OECD (2019) Implementing social protection strategies. Lessons from European Union Social
Protection Strategies.
OECD Better Life Initiative (2018). How is life in Sweden? Sweden’s Current Well-Being.
Saunders, M., Lewis, P. & Thornhill, A. (2012). Research Methods for Business Students 6th
edition, Pearson Education Limited.
Simone, S. (2014). Conceptualizing well-being in the workplace. International Journal of
Business and Social Science. Vol.5(12), pp 44-48
Silver, H. (2015) Contexts of social inclusion. Department of economic and social affairs
Suresh, G. (2015). Intra mural and extra mural welfare facilities provided by neyvelignite
cooperation limited. International Journal of World Research. Vol. 1 Issue 20 pp. 26-30.
United Nations (2018) Sustainable Development Goals
Tworeck, C., Hemminga, D. and Dhillon, D. (2017) The Ubuntu Philosophy as a Management
Strategy. Research Gate.
United Nations Development Programme (2013) Humanity Divided: Confronting Inequality in
Developing Countries
United Nations (2006) Social Justice in an Open world International Forum for Social
Development. New York
UN Zambia (2012) Contract No. CS08- 12/2012 between UN Zambia and Armcor Security
Limited for the provision of comprehensive security management services for the UNO in Zambia
Valentine, T.R. (2002) Medium term strategy for enhancing pay and conditions of service in the
Zambian public service Government of Zambia Commissioned Report from Crown Consultants International
World Bank (2018) Republic of Zambia Systematic Country Diagnostic World Bank March
World Population Review. (2020) Life Expectancy 2020. Available at: [Accessed 31 March 2020].
Zambia Daily Mail (2014) Security guards most neglected workers Zambia Daily Mail
Newspaper August 30, 2014




How to Cite

Tayali, E. M., & Sakyi, K. A. (2020). The Health and Well-being of Low Paying Jobs in Southern Africa: Case Study of Security Guards in Zambia. Advances in Social Sciences Research Journal, 7(4), 229–247.

Most read articles by the same author(s)