a stressed employee

European Employers, Workers Solving Stress Problem Together

Representatives of employers and workers in the European Union recently presented a report explaining how they have implemented a framework agreement on work-related stress, which is considered a serious work- related health problem that is the leading cause of lost work days in Europe. The objective of the agreement is for workers and employers to work together to do a better job of identifying, preventing, and managing stress.

The European Agency for Safety and Health at Work says work-related stress is among the four highest-reported work-related health problems in the European Union and affected 22 percent of workers in 2005. Fifty to 60 percent of all lost work days are linked to it, studies indicate.

The agreement was completed in October 2004; it aims to raise awareness of work-related stress among employers, workers, and their representatives and gives them a framework to identify and prevent or manage stress. It also sets out employers' and workers' responsibilities. The Dec. 15 report shows how Member States have implemented it one year after the implementation deadline. The European Commission will analyze the implementation during 2009 and then issue its own report.

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