Some 1.2 million workers harassed, bullied on the job

Lodewijk Asscher (Photo: Commons)Lodewijk Asscher (Photo: Commons)

Over 1.2 million Dutch workers are being bullied, harassed or discriminated against in the work place, the Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment announced on Monday. This unwanted behavior comes from both colleagues and managers or bosses. The ministry is launching a campaign to draw attention to this problem.

Harassment, bullying and discrimination have a massive impact on victims. According to a study by TNO, it leads to an annual average of 7 additional sick days per victim, costing employers 1.7 billion euros in sick days pay. Combined with high workload, this unwanted behavior also doubles the risk of a burnout.

Minister Lodewijk Asscher of Social Affairs and Employment is therefore launching a campaign to address this problems. A ministry launched Facebook page is now live where employees and employers can talk about bullying, harassment and discrimination. And the ministry will encourage people to do so with a radio commercial and poster campaign.

The minister is also putting 500 thousand euros aside for a team of experts that companies can call in for help with this problem. TNO put advise on their website on how employers and employees can recognize unwanted behavior and tips with how to deal with it.

Finally the Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment will launch a self-inspection tool later this month that will enable employers to understand the forms of bullying in their organization. And the ministry's Inspectorate will pay close attention to the issue during inspections.