Managing job stress in the Netherlands
SourceInternational Journal of Stress Management, 8, 1, (2001), pp. 15-34
Article / Letter to editor
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SW OZ BSI AO
International Journal of Stress Management
SubjectWork, Health and Performance
Compared with other countries, in the Netherlands work pressure and sickness absenteeism and work incapacitation rates due to work-related mental health problems are quite high. About a decade ago a new Working Conditions Act (WCA) was introduced that had far-reaching consequences for the way job stress is dealt with in organizations. The WCA emphasizes the central role to be played by commercially operating Occupational Health and Safety Services (OHSSs), and it defines a new kind of professional—the Work & Organizational Expert—who is primarily responsible for the assessment and prevention of job stress. Recently, a number of instruments have been developed for psychosocial risk assessment that are now widely used on a regular basis in a way prescribed by the WCA. Preventive measures are increasingly taken by organizations in order to reduce job stress and sickness absenteeism. Based on the Dutch approach some lessons may be learned. Recommendations pertain to (1) the role of government, (2) legal recognition of psychosocial work factors, (3) the privatization of the occupational health and safety sector, and (4) evaluation of job stress prevention programs.
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