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The Well-being Act
Chapter Vbis of the Act of 4 August 1996 on well-being of workers in the performance of their work sets out a general framework for the prevention of psychosocial risks at work.
Violence, moral and sexual harassment at work are an integral part of psychosocial risks at work and are tackled via the general framework for the prevention of psychosocial risks at work. Section 2 of chapter Vbis nevertheless pays particular attention to these specific risks.
This legislation was modified most recently by the laws of 28 February 2014 and 28 March 2014 (The Explanatory Memorandum is available in French and Dutch as well as the Act of 4 August 1996 on well-being of workers in the performance of their work).
Title 3 on the prevention of psychosocial risks at work, of book I of the Code on Well-being at Work
This title implements chapter Vbis of the Well-being Act and contains provisions that, among other things, cover risk analysis and preventive measures, the different procedures available to workers who believe they are experiencing harm due to exposure to psychosocial risks at work, the statute of the Prevention Advisor for psychosocial aspects and the confidential counsellor, etc.
Read the full text on this website:
- in Dutch: Codex boek I titel 3 Preventie van psychosociale risico's op het werk (PDF, 476.16 KB);
- in French: Code livre I titre 3 Prévention des risques psychosociaux au travail (PDF, 477.17 KB);
Collective labour agreement (CLA) No 72 of 30 March 1999 concluded that the National Labour Council, on managing the prevention of stress caused by work, and made mandatory by the Royal Decree of 21 June 1999 (Belgian Official Gazette of 9 July 1999) is still in force. The CLA tackles the issue of stress at work more from the point of view of working conditions, for which a role is given to the works council.
However, other than the definition of stress and the highlighting of the role of the works council, all the provisions of this CLA are contained and further elaborated in title 3 of book I of the Code on Well-being at Work. This title has a broader scope of application and a stronger binding force than those of the CLA:
- This agreement applies only to stress approached from the collective viewpoint, whereas title 3 of book I covers all psychosocial risks at work.
- It only applies to private sector employers. Section 3 of book I, on the other hand, applies to both the private and the public sector.
- The aim of the agreement is to detect and tackle problems at the collective level (i.e. within the company as a whole and at group level), while title 3 of book I also approaches problems at the individual level.
- The aim of the agreement as to prevent risks (primary prevention) and prevent harm (secondary prevention). Section 2 of book I also covers measures for limiting harm at an individual level (tertiary prevention).
The text of the CLA is available on the National Labour Council website in French and Dutch: Nationale Arbeidsraad .
- 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.