A case for an EU directive addressing work-related psychological risks

Author (Person)
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Series Details 2022.05, Number 5
Publication Date March 2022
ISSN 2031-8782
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Today's world of work involves more and more psychosocial risks, for a variety of reasons. These include new technologies that are changing the nature and pace of work, work overload and time pressure, shifting working hours with demands for availability 24/7, job insecurity
and discrimination, as well as new or exacerbated psychosocial challenges to workers’ well-being as a result of the COVID-19 crisis.

Across the European Union (EU), the existence of psychological risks at work is a long-standing and problematic issue. This is also the case when it comes to the central and eastern European states, where, despite increasing work-related psychological risks, awareness of the issue, its legal regulation and its management are seriously lacking. Since the beginning of 1990s, many central and eastern European countries have experienced rapid structural and occupational changes, which have occurred more quickly than in advanced economies. This has posed severe challenges for workers, enterprises and policymakers.

Although central and eastern European economies were on the periphery long before their economic and political transformation, the rapid increase in unemployment, privatisation, economic insecurity and the burgeoning informal economy plunged workers into a more risky and uncertain labour environment, directly or potentially affecting their mental health and emotional well-being. Moreover, high rates of work-related accidents, poor OSH management at enterprises, weak labour inspection and trade unions, along with inefficient social dialogue became long-term attributes of the world of work in these states.

While the data on working conditions across central and eastern Europe indicates a significant presence of psychological risks at work in different industries, this issue is neither regulated by national legislation, nor adequately addressed at the enterprise level. In addition, researchers, policymakers and trade unions often neglect psychological-risk regulation in these countries.

Source Link https://www.etui.org/publications/case-eu-directive-addressing-work-related-psychological-risks
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  • https://www.etui.org/sites/default/files/2022-03/A%20case%20for%20an%20EU%20directive%20addressing%20work-related%20psychological%20risks-an%20eastern%20European%20perspective-2022.pdf
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