New EUROGIP study on the recognition of work-related mental disorders in Europe

Home > The news of EUROGIP and occupational risks in Europe > New EUROGIP study on the recognition of work-related mental disorders in Europe

It is now accepted that working conditions can have an impact on workers’ mental health. The prevention of psychosocial risks has therefore become a priority in many countries. But the question of recognising psychological diseases as work-related is far from being unanimously accepted in Europe. EUROGIP devoted its latest study to this issue.

First of all, this recognition comes up against legal obstacles. National definitions and case law interpretations of what constitutes an accident at work, on the one hand, and regulatory procedures for recognising occupational diseases, on the other, do not allow mental illnesses to be recognised as such everywhere.

Where such recognition is possible, the question arises of objectivising the causal link between exposure and illness, which is almost never presumed in law. A worker’s mental health may be affected by both poor working conditions and non-work-related factors.

Recognition as an occupational injury or disease

It turns out that under certain conditions, a psychological pathology following a specific, sudden and unforeseeable event can theoretically be recognised as an accident at work in many European countries.

However, an increasing number of workers now claim to be suffering from non-traumatic disorders (depression, burnout, etc.), caused by the organisation and working conditions, violence or management style they encounter in the workplace. These situations, corresponding to prolonged exposure to a psychosocial risk, raise the question of recognition of psychological disorders as occupational diseases, an issue on which only a few countries – Denmark, Spain, France, Italy and Sweden – took a favourable stance some twenty years ago.

The new EUROGIP report therefore looks at :

  • mental disorders linked to psychosocial risks (those caused by toxic substances, particularly solvents, are excluded);
  • the five countries which recognise mental disorders as occupational diseases, as well as Germany and Belgium, where information on recognition as accidents at work is available;
  • the process of recognition of the occupational nature of mental illnesses;
  • the statistics published by “accidents at work/occupational diseases” insurers.
    One point concerns the recognition of suicide.

Download the report in English

Download the report in French (official version)

Discover other news



BELGIUM: what to expect from occupational illnesses in 2022

In 2022, around 38,500 people received compensation for permanent disability due to an occupational disease. And nearly 13,000 workers (private sector and provincial or local administrations, APL) filed a claim for compensation; 211 deaths were recognised, 73% of which were due to asbestos, 17% to silicosis and 10% to other diseases. These are the findings of the Fedris “Statistical Report on Occupational Diseases” 2022.



FINLAND: the number of accidents at work rose in 2021

In 2021, more than 91,159 accidents at work occurred in Finland, around 4,500 more than in 2020. As in the previous year, construction workers (10,787), care and health service workers (9,367) and machine shop and foundry workers (7,162) were most affected.