What is it?

The purpose of this guide is to provide employers and managers with key elements to consider when assessing psyhcosocial risks and implementing preventive measures to protect the health7 and well-being of workers in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The guide considers ten areas for action at the workplace level relevant for the prevention of work-related stress and the promotion of health and well being, both in times of lockdown and in the following phases of return to work. For each of these areas, the guide proposes a number of measures to help address the risks and challenges, including those related to working from home.

HIGHLIGHTS

Frontline workers, such as health care and emergency workers, but also those involved in the production of essential goods, in delivery and transportation, or in ensuring the security and safety of the population are facing many stressful situations at work as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Increased workloads, longer working hours, and reduced rest periods are a concern for most of them. In addition, they may be worried about getting infected at work and passing the virus to family, friends, and others at work, in particular if appropriate protective measures are not in place.

People working from home are exposed to specific psychosocial risks, such as isolation, blurred boundaries between work and family, increased risk of domestic violence, among others.

The fear of loosing the job, pay cuts, lay-offs and reduced benefits make many workers question their future. Job insecurity, economic loss and unemployment can have a severe impact on mental health. These and other psychosocial risks may arise or increase as a result of the COVID-19-crisis. Many of them may have emerged during the period of the rapid spread of the virus and strict isolation measures and still persist over time as businesses open their doors. Others may increase when workers return to their workplaces.

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Author

International Labour Organization (ILO)

Year of publication

2020

Type

Report

Region

Global

Countries

Global