Deputy PM wants to send company managers on mandatory anti-bullying course

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Lodewijk Asscher (Photo: Rijksoverheid.nl/Wikimedia Commons). (Lodewijk Asscher (Photo: Rijksoverheid.nl/Wikimedia Commons))

Minister Lodewijk Asscher of Social Affairs and Employment is working on ways to intervene in companies not doing enough to stop bullying in the work place, he wrote in a letter to parliament on Monday. He wants to start an experiment in which managers will be sent on a cursus aimed at "behavioral and cultural change in the company", NU.nl reports. 

"When a leader fails to take action against unacceptable behavior, a culture comes into being in which undesirable behavior happens more commonly and adopts more severe forms", the Deputy Prime Minister wrote. "To prevent bullying in an organization, it is necessary that senior management makes clear that harassment will not be tolerated."

Asscher is establishing an action team next year aimed at tackling the causes of psycho-social workload stress. This team will have a budget of 500 thousand euros and will support companies having trouble with bullying.

According to Asscher, 58 thousand employees often deal with work place bullying and 24 thousand do so very often. In over a third of this group, the bullying leads to burnout complaints.

The Deputy Prime Minister added that fines will be issued to companies that deliberately do nothing about a socially dangerous situation.

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