EU bosses and employee bodies sign an agreement on harassment at work

European employers and trade union representatives have agreed to fight harassment and violence at work, as one in 20 workers report having been bullied or harassed in the past 12 months, according to the Fourth European Working Conditions Survey.

The agreement has been signed by European bodies representing small and medium-sized enterprises, and public sector organisations.

It aims to increase awareness and understanding among employers, workers and their representatives of workplace harassment and violence.

It should also provide them with a framework to identify, prevent and manage such problems.

It condemns all forms of harassment and violence and refers to an employer’s duty to protect workers against these situations.

The agreement also requires employers to have a clear statement outlining that harassment and violence in the workplace are not tolerated and have a procedure in place for dealing with complaints.

Member organisations have agreed to implement the agreement’s provisions in their respective member states by April 2010.

This is the third ‘autonomous’ framework agreement of the social partners.

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