|28 March 2002|
Future EU directive may include workplace bullying and violence
|The EU Commission has announced its new strategy for health and safety at work for the period 2002-2006 may include workplace bullying and violence.|
The plan seeks to modernise EU health and safety policy and rules to cover new types of workplace risk, such as bullying and violence at work and stress-related conditions. The strategy also seeks to consolidate a culture of risk prevention at work.
Anna Diamantopoulou, European Commissioner for employment and social affairs, said "New types of work have created new types of workplace risk, such as stress-related conditions caused by the ever-faster pace of work".
She announced that the Commission had tabled a new directive on bullying and violence in the workplace. Exactly what the Commission has in mind is not yet clear. However, it would appears likely that the issue of bullying and violence at work will be the subject of considerable EU attention over the next few years.
According to the EU, the strategy contains three main features: a global approach to wellbeing at work; active partnerships between all the players; and the inclusion of "non-social" policy factors.
The strategy will seek to adopt a global approach to wellbeing at work, taking account of changes in the world of work and the emergence of new risks, especially of a psycho-social nature. The strategy will thus help to enhance the quality of work, and regards a safe and healthy working environment as one of the essential components.
All available policy instruments (legislation, social dialogue, benchmarking and best practices, corporate social responsibility and economic incentives) will be used and the development of active partnerships between all the players on the safety and health scene will be encouraged.
Also "non social policy" factors, such as costs that weigh heavily on economies and societies, demonstrated by the toll of accidents and diseases on families and insurers, will be included.
The strategy is aimed at not only consolidating a culture of risk prevention and at strengthening the achievements already made, through more effective standards enforcement and implementation of rules, but also to promote improved education and training.
The full text of the new strategy may be viewed at http://europa.eu.int/comm/employment_social/general/index_en.htm
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