THE NETHERLANDS: Launch of a national action plan to combat psychosocial risks

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The Minister of Social Affairs and Employment has announced the establishment of an action plan to combat mental disorders, which are the cause of one out of three sick leaves in the Netherlands.

This plan, which will be implemented over four years, will be deployed in close cooperation with the employees’ and employers’ representatives. The Labour Inspectorate has already received instructions to pay special attention to psychosocial risks during visits to enterprises. The first two years of the plan will be devoted to combating excessive workloads, assaults, violence and bullying, which are the main risk factors. In the education and finance sectors, for example, half of sick leaves are due to heavy workloads. The last two years will be focused on the prevention of discrimination and harassment at work. At the same time, the plan targets a number of worker groups having a higher risk of sick leaves, such as those working flexible hours. The minister also wants to promote the inclusion in collective labour agreements of measures to combat excessive workloads.

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