EuroHealthNet, in the name of The EU Mental Health Alliance for Work and Employment, welcomes the European Commission’s proposal for the new EU Strategic Framework on Health and Safety at Work (OHS) (2021-2027) as a necessary step in improving the working conditions across the EU.
While we understand that this Roadmap is a first step of a broader consultation, we regret seeing no reference made to psychosocial factors behind work-related illnesses. Mental health of workers across different categories requires protection especially in realities of the changing world of work (e.g. platform workers, gig economy). Good mental health and wellbeing at work is fundamental to ensure quality of life for every worker and their family as well as positive economic outcomes for society as a whole.
The following recommendations were given to the new EU OSH Framework:
- Steer Member States to address mental health and psychosocial risks in their national OSH strategies, including adequate resource allocation for preventative actions with specific focus on the high risk groups
- Lay out an explicit role for the EU Steering Group on Health Promotion and Disease Prevention to offer additional support towards ensuring high protection of mental health due to the changing nature of work
- Embed the new EU OHS Framework into the rights-based approach (guided by the Action Plan for the implementation of the EPSR) to reforms of national occupational health policies with the support from the Recovery and Resilience plans
- Include occupational psychosocial health and safety indicators in the Social Scoreboard
- Promote a more integrated approach to address occupational mental health challenges through various sectors, services and settings, including community-based
- Encourage trade unions and employers to increase their efforts and understanding of mental health and workplace links to prevent and provide people with mental health problems with the right support to enter or remain in employment
- Support European companies addressing psychosocial risks in their operational guidelines
- Support addressing psychosocial risks in collective bargaining and in debates on ethics in digital transition and artificial intelligence
- Explore options to further elaborate on the introduction of relevant legal instruments (e.g. EU Directive) on addressing psychosocial risks at workplaces
Read the full response here.