Mental health in the digital world of work
Far-reaching measures called for
SW – 07/2022
5 July, the European Parliament adopted a Resolution on mental health in the
digital world of work with 501 votes in favour, 47 against and 85 abstentions.
Members of Parliament (MEPs) call for the issue to be
addressed through an EU mental health strategy and a European care strategy,
complemented by national action plans. Mental health should be given the same
priority as physical health. There is a lack of financial resources and
point to the opportunities that digitisation can create, for example, for the
employment of people with disabilities in the open labour market. Employers are
encouraged to ensure accessibility and reasonable accommodation for
work-related digital environments to secure equal working conditions for people
with disabilities, including those with mental health problems.
directive setting minimum standards and conditions to ensure the effective
exercise of a right to disconnect is also called for. This is
particularly necessary for workers in atypical forms of employment. At the same
time, employers are called upon to issue clear and transparent regulations on
working from home and to work towards respecting working hours.
right to disconnect, the European Commission had initially seen the
social partners as having a duty of care in the EU Strategic Framework for Health and Safety at Work 2021-2027. They
have now included the topic in their Work programme 2022-24. The 2002 framework agreement on telework is to be revised and submitted to the European Council for adoption as a
legally binding agreement in the form of a directive.
Occupational safety and health
have adhered to the very far-reaching demands of the responsible "Committee
on Employment and Social Affairs" of the European Parliament on
occupational disease law. MEPs call for revision of the 2003 Recommendation on
the European Schedule of Occupational Diseases. Work-related mental disorders,
especially depression, so-called burn-outs, anxiety and stress are to be added
to the list. In addition, the recommendation is to be transformed into a
directive with a minimum schedule of occupational diseases as well as minimum
requirements for their recognition and the compensation of those affected.
such a legislative initiative would interfere with the freedom of the Member
States to design their social security systems, the mechanisms for the prevention
of psychosocial disorders and for the reintegration of those affected, which
are also called for, are to be welcomed, in principle.
revision of Directive 89/654/EEC on the minimum safety and health requirements
for the workplace and Directive 90/270/EEC on the safety and health of workers
using visual display units, as called for by MEPs, would also be welcome. The
European Commission has initiated the overdue modernisation of both directives in the EU Strategic Framework by 2023.
European Parliament proposes to designate 2023 as the EU Year of Mental Health
in order to to draw
attention to and raise awareness of the issue. With regard to
mental health at work, the European Commission has announced a non-legislative
initiative at EU level in the EU Strategic Framework.
Emerging issues related to mental health in the workforce will be assessed and
guidelines for action will be presented by 2022.