The Dutch worry most about the pressure of work and work-related stress, with teachers and health service workers the most concerned about these issues. This is one of the results in a survey on working conditions involving 24,000 people which was carried out for the social affairs ministry.
Some 18% of those polled felt employers should do more to reduce stress at work. Second on the list of workers’ concerns was repetitive strain injury (RSI). Around 10% of those questioned, particularly people working in financial services, thought more action should be taken to cut the risk of developing RSI.
The survy concluded that the average working week was 31.3 hours, with men working some 10 hours a week longer than women.
The report also indicated that 26% of people are now prepared to remain working until the age of 65, compared with 21% in the 2005 survey. The government has been campaigning to get employees to stay in work longer by reducing tax breaks on early retirement.
In a parallel survey involving over 5,000 employers, two-thirds thought changes to the laws on working conditions (arbowet) introduced at the beginning of this year were positive.
Companies have been given more leeway to customise how they approach health and safety issues. For example, they are supposed to draw up their own catalogue detailing the measures they are taking to meet government regulations.
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