Burn-out on the rise in the Belgian work place

Burn-out on the rise in the Belgian work place
Credit: Belga

The psycho-social risks linked to work increased last year by 12% compared to 2018 and 38% compared to 2017, the external service for prevention and protection at work Idewe stated on Friday.

Disputes, stress and burn-out are the main sources of employee unrest.

In 2019, Idewe received around 12% more notifications of psycho-social risk than last year. This means that workers are resorting more to consulting their prevention adviser.

Two-thirds of the notifications concerned disputes in the workplace. These are problems that "must be remedied swiftly and in a constructive way so as to avoid them becoming psychological harassment," Idewe's Hilde De Man warns. "To this end, establishing a psycho-social wellness policy specific to a company can prove useful," she recommends.

26% of the notifications regarding such disquiet involve cases of stress and burn-out that have increased by more than a quarter in relation to 2018, followed by psychological harassment up by 14.6%, physical and psychological violence (up 3.8%, that is +18% in relation to 2018) and sexual harassment (up 1.6%).

Idewe has established a formal file for 10% of the workers who indicated they were being subjected to psychological harassment or violence. In 38% of cases, the informal intervention of a prevention adviser, a consultation with an immediate superior or individual support for the worker was requested. In over half of the cases (52%), a personal interview with a prevention adviser proved to be sufficient.

"Colleagues also have a part to play, for example by watching out for indications of harassment such as gossip, insults and inappropriate remarks, and by making it clearly understood that they want no part in such acts," De Man concluded.

The Brussels Times

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