One in three employees in Belgium are victims of inappropriate behavior at work
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    One in three employees in Belgium are victims of inappropriate behavior at work

    Last year, 34% of employees were subjected to harassment, discrimination, unacceptable sexual behavior or aggression at work, according to the latest figures from Mensura, an external service for prevention and protection, reported yesterday. Women are more affected than men. “These forms of inappropriate behavior pose a threat to the well-being and mental and physical health of the workers involved and require an ad-hoc approach,” says Mensura, which relies on a survey completed by 10,000 workers.

    Most often (25% of respondents), the victims say they have faced at least one aggression, physical or verbal. 13% of also claim to have been victims of harassment and discrimination, while 2% of other employees report unwanted sexual behavior.

    Those under 25 years are the most sheltered, with “only” 27% having been confronted with such behavior, against 38% in age group 45-54 years. Women are the most affected, with 37%, compared to 32% among men.

    Employees and employers have a role to play, says Mensura. “Since 2014, legislation requires employers to introduce a prevention policy to limit psychosocial risks,” said a psychologist at Mensura.

    “Unacceptable behavior remains one of the most difficult psychosocial problems in the workplace and we recommend employers and employees, in addition to a prevention policy that clearly sets out the generally accepted social limits, to discuss and tackle inappropriate behavior.”

    On European level, there is no harmonised approach to preventing and sanctioning harassment at work.

    Oscar Schneider
    The Brussels Times