International comparison of policy measures on workplace violence

There is evidence that workplace violence is more common in the Netherlands
than in other EU Member States. This was the reason for the Ministry of
Internal Affairs to ask Research voor Beleid (Institute for Policy Research) to
carry out a quick scan in four different Member States on workplace violence
and policy measures to deal with violence at work. The selected Member States
are the Netherlands, Germany, Sweden and the United Kingdom.

The quick scan is based on a literature study, interviews with 27 experts and
data sources. Important data sources were the European Survey of Enterprises on
New and Emerging Risks 2009 (ESENER) and the European Working Conditions Survey
2005 (EWCS). Although these data sources contain no information about
‘employees with public tasks', it is possible to draw more general
conclusions on workplace violence and measures to deal with it.

A comparison of the four countries based on the ESENER and EWCS-data shows that
the level of violence in the workplace is not only relatively high in the
Netherlands, but also in the United Kingdom. ESENER-data contributed to the
conclusion that, despite the high level of workplace violence in the
Netherlands, employers are not very concerned and relatively low levels of
employers take measures and implement procedures to manage workplace violence.
There is more concern and more measures are taken in Sweden and the United

A comparison of policy measures, programmes and instruments in the four
countries led to the conclusion that workplace violence is a matter of sectors
and social partners in all countries. Violence at work is only in the
Netherlands considered a national policy issue. Sectors in all countries -
especially the health sector and public transport - have developed tools for
employers and employees to prevent workplace violence. The general conclusion
is that more employers in the Netherlands could use the policy tools provided
by social partners and national government.

More information: - Source: European Agency for Safety and Health at Work