The psychosocial risks at work: an adaptation of the “Working Rules” on 1 March 2015

Since 1 September 2014, the regulations for the prevention of psychosocial risks at work have been reinforced.

These new regulations aim to tackle stress and burnout at work. On that point, prevention policy at the workplace, until then limited to acts of violence, harassment and inappropriate sexual behaviour, was extended to include psychosocial risks such as stress and burnout.

To this extent, the legislation provides, in particular, that the "Working Rules" must contain, by 1 March 2015 at the latest, the following compulsory provisions, provided by article 32 nonedecies of the law of 4 August 1996 concerning the welfare of workers when performing their jobs.

- The contact details of the Prevention Adviser who specializes in psychosocial matters at work, or of the prevention and protection service for which this adviser operates and, as the case may be, the contact details of the Trusted Person.

- The applicable procedures when acts of violence or psychological or sexual harassment are reported, particularly regarding:

  • The treatment and advice for people who claim to be victims of violence or harassment at work.
  • The procedure for calling upon the Prevention Adviser and the Trusted Person.
  • The rapid and impartial intervention of the Trusted Person and the Prevention Adviser.
  • The reemployment and support of people who claim to be victims of violence or harassment.

- The procedures available to workers who claim to be harmed by psychosocial risks such as stress and burnout, to request:

  • An informal psychosocial procedure to seek a solution from the Trusted Person or the Prevention Adviser by meetings, a third party intervention or conciliation.
  • An external procedure to ask the employer for appropriate collective and individual measures based on analysis of the specific position of the workers at work and on the proposals of measures made by the Prevention Adviser.

In conclusion, we advise that companies that did not adapt their "Working Rules" by 1 March 2015, comply with the legal obligations as soon as possible in order to avoid administrative and penal sanctions under the Social Penal Code.