Agreement to fight against harassment and violence at work

Late last week, in the presence of Commissioner Špidla, the secretaries general
of ETUC, BUSINESSEUROPE, UEAPME and CEEP officially signed an autonomous
framework agreement to fight against harassment and violence at work.

Negotiated during ten months, the text commits the members of the signatory
parties to combat all unacceptable behaviour that can lead to harassment and
violence at the workplace.

With this agreement, the European social partners firmly condemn harassment and
violence in all their forms and recognise that harassment and violence can
potentially affect any workplace and any worker; even if in practice some
groups and sectors can be more at risk. Amongst other, the agreement provides a
method to prevent, identify and manage problems of harassment and violence at
work, which

  • requires enterprises to have a clear statement outlining that harassment and
    violence at the workplace are not tolerated and specifies the procedure to be
    followed in case of problems,

  • recognises that the responsibility for determining, reviewing and monitoring
    the appropriate measures rests with the employer, in consultation with workers
    and/or their representatives,

  • allows the provisions of the agreement to deal with cases of violence by
    third parties where appropriate.

This framework agreement is the sixth signed by the European social partners
since the beginning of the European social dialogue 20 years ago. Negotiations
started following an official Commission consultation of the social partners on
harassment and violence in January 2005, as required by the Treaty prior to
presenting European social legislation. The successful conclusion of this
negotiation is a major achievement for the European social dialogue work
programme 2006-2008.

Members of BUSINESSEUROPE, UEAPME, CEEP and ETUC committed themselves to
implement the provisions of this autonomous agreement before April 2010, in
accordance with the procedures and practices specific to management and labour
in their country.

More information

AplusA-online.de - Source: European Agency for Safety and Health at Work