© European Union, 2024


Safety must come first for key candidates


We call on officials from leading groups to place workers first.

Place Mentl Health

Campaign season for the upcoming European elections is in full swing, with the leading candidates for the European groups (Spitzenkandidaten) vying for attention across key Member States.

In meeting with many of these groups and candidates, we have consistently reaffirmed the need for workers’ health and safety to be front and centre of all discussions, with these actors having a unique opportunity to shape the main narratives around this election.

Ahead of the World Day for Safety and Health at Work (April 28th), we reached out directly to Commission President von der Leyen, Commissioner Schmit, Walter Baier, Bas Eickhout and Valérie Hayer, calling on them to ensure mental health at work is a priority in their campaigning. The letters in full can be found below.

In Europe, 60% of lost working time can be attributed to work-related stress and psychosocial risks, with 80% of establishments identifying at least one risk factor being present in their workplace. Studies from 2013 outline that the cost of depression due to work is estimated at 617 billion euros per year, a figure which we suspect has increased.

While much has been done to raise awareness in the 2019 – 2024 mandate, millions are left without the protection they desperately require. In creating greater uniformity across Member States, setting minimum standards and ensuring that legislation covers new and emerging risks, we can address psychosocial risks in concrete and specific terms.

Not just on World Day for Safety and Health at Work, but throughout the campaigning period and the next mandate, mental health at work needs to be properly addressed by Europe’s leading voices.