Psychosocial risks are the biggest threat to the European workforce
Eurocadres organised a seminar in the European Parliament on the 22 April 2015 on psychosocial risks in cooperation with MEP Anneli Jäätteenmäki and the ALDE group. A keynote speech was delivered by Dr. Zinta Podniece from DG Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion. She pointed out that as many as 53% of workers see stress as the biggest occupational risk.
There also exists a stigma around psychosocial symptoms, which means that things are done too late or that there is a lack of expertise. In fact 1 in 6 workers will suffer from mental health problems, which costs 240 billion euros annually in Europe. Especially professionals and managers are vulnerable for time pressure, conflicting demands between work life and social life, long hours and so on.
"[It] is not a cost for businesses to take preventative measures or treat their workers, instead it is an investment to take care of the people who work for you."
Dr. Podniece´s presentation was followed by a panel discussion where MEP Ole Christensen (S&D) and CEO Dirk Antonissen (ISW Limits) joined in. Mr. Christensen highlighted that is not a cost for businesses to take preventative measures or treat their workers, instead it is an investment to take care of the people who work for you. Mr Antonissen, who also is the president of Employee Assistance European Forum, underlined that it is a key for companies´ performance to tackle psychosocial risk. It is a return of investments.
Eurocadres President Martin Jefflén concluded the seminar by underlining that professionals and managers are highly affected by increasing work load, slimming of work organisations and downsizing as an overall strategy in managing companies and other undertakings. There has to be tools and measures to prevent 24/7 availability and a work/life balance.