Magazine article European Social Policy

Social Partners : Report Reveals Differences in Tackling Work-Related Stress

Magazine article European Social Policy

Social Partners : Report Reveals Differences in Tackling Work-Related Stress

Article excerpt

A joint report from the EU's social partners on how national social partners have carried out their autonomous framework agreement on work-related stress' was presented, on 15 December. Stress is considered as the primary cause of lost working days in Europe and is seen as a serious work-related health problem.

In October 2004, the social partners from both sides of industry, European companies and employers: CEEP, Business-Europe, UEAPME and the European trade unions, ETUC, adopted a joint agreement to work together to improve the identification, prevention and management of stress. This report comes a year after the deadline for implementation.

According to the social partners, their framework agreement is of "real added value". They also say that it has "raised awareness" about the importance of dealing with problems of work-related stress when they occur at the workplace.

In the report, a variety of actions that have been undertaken by the national social partners to achieve the above-mentioned goals, are set out. The report provides information as to how Norway, Iceland and 21 EU member states performed. No reports were provided by Bulgaria, Estonia, Greece, Italy, Malta and Lithuania.There are considerable differences in the achievements of the different member states. Vladimir Spidla, the EU's commissioner for social affairs, employment and equal opportunities, urged the national social partners who have not yet launched joint actions to do so.

The implementing measures also took different forms: there were social partner (framework) agreements (for example joint guidelines in Sweden), national, sectoral or company collective agreements (in Belgium and France) and national legislation (Czech Republic and Latvia). …

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