Courses of action for the worker: the internal procedure
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If a worker believes that they are experiencing harm due to psychosocial risks at work, they can of course notify their employer or another line manager.
They can also contact a member of the committee for prevention and protection at work or a trade union delegate.
They can also request an ad hoc consultation with the Prevention Advisor-occupational physician if they have work-related complaints about their health. The Prevention Advisor-occupational physician will notify the employer, unless the worker does not agree to this (in which case the worker must then visit the occupational physician during a leave period). If the occupational physician decides to fill out the health evaluation form in French or Dutch they must take a position on the worker's aptitude for work, with all the consequences that this decision can have.
In addition to these possibilities, there is a specific internal procedure accessible to workers who believe they have experienced harm due to psychosocial risks at work.
This procedure contains two types of intervention: informal psychosocial intervention and formal psychosocial intervention.
Both types of intervention are accessible for acts of violence, and moral or sexual harassment at work, as well as any other situations which involve psychosocial risks at work (stress, burn-out, conflicts, etc.).
This internal procedure must be described in the company's work regulations. For a clause template to be added to the work regulations: see Article 19 of the work regulations template, available:
- in Dutch: Model arbeidsreglement (DOC, 184 KB);
- in French: Modèle de règlement de travail (DOC, 169.5 KB).
The employer contacts either the confidential counsellor or the Prevention Advisor for psychosocial aspects depending on their affinity with either of these persons, the trust they have in them or their geographical proximity.
The contact details of the confidential counsellor and the Prevention Advisor for psychosocial aspects (or the external service for which they work) must be written in the work regulations and in a place that is easily accessible to workers (poster, intranet, etc.). This is an obligation for the employer.
If the employer does not fulfil this obligation, the Prevention Advisor from the internal service, a trade union delegate, the Prevention Advisor-occupational physician, the social assistant or the Supervision of Well-being at Work inspection service may help the worker to find this information.
The worker must be able to consult the confidential counsellor or Prevention Advisor for psychosocial aspects during working hours.
If the usual organisation of working time does not allow this, the consultation can also take place outside working hours provided that a collective agreement or the work regulations allow this. This is the case for night-time work or shift work, for example.
In these cases, accidents that occur on the way to visiting or returning from the participant are covered by the employer's occupational accident insurance.
The travel costs are also payable by the employer, regardless of the time at which the consultation takes place (during working hours, during sick leave, etc.). To this end, the worker will have to inform his employer of the fact that he has consulted the confidential counsellor or the Prevention Advisor for psychosocial aspects.
This is the person (colleague, line management, third party, etc.) with whom the applicant has an interpersonal problem (for example a conflict, harassment, etc.) and who is involved in the formal or informal request for psychosocial intervention. There will not always be a person directly involved. In the event of stress or burn-out, for example, there is no other person directly involved, but it is the organisation of the work that may cause a problem.
- Firstly, with the prevention advisor of the internal and/or external service for prevention and protection at work.
- Secondly, with the competent regional directorate for Supervision of Well-being at Work.
- Questions on the interpretation of the legislation: in writing to the Directorate-General for Humanisation of Labour.