Now that burnout has been officially recognised by the WHO as a health risk, what measures will the Ministry of Health put in place?
The former Minister of Health and LSAP MP Mars di Bartolomeo requested answers from the incumbent Minister of Health for a parliamentary question on the topic.
The services dealing with health at the workplace reported 239 cases of burnout in the last year, in the finance and the service sectors.
The number of cases has risen immensely, said Schneider in his response, citing an increase of 37%. It was therefore deemed important to focus on educating and informing employees and employers alike. Alongside these offers, psychological services are available through the majority of health at work services.
Prevention is key in cases of burnout, said the Minister in response to the parliamentary question. There are a number of initiatives designed to support people when needed, for example the "Phénix" programme by the “Association pour la santé au travail des secteurs tertiaire et financier”, or a programme designed by the Gesondheetszentrum, where people are given access to different methods of help and advice for 3 months. The Minister also cited the possibility of reforming labour laws, with a national plan to take psycho-social risks of work into account.
There are currently two associations tasked with assisting employees suffering burnout - “Stress asbl” and “Mobbing asbl”. One is financed by the Ministry of Health, the other by the Ministry of Employment.
The Minister then listed a number of benefits available to employees suffering with burnout, such as indemnities in cases where the person is no longer capable of working. There are also possibilities to visit specialised clinics abroad, or undergo relaxation treatments. Burnout is a syndrome caused primarily by stress, when the patient is unable to control chronic stress in the workplace. Symptoms include fatigue, lack of energy and a decline in efficiency.