Expatica news

Workplace bullying on the increase in Belgium

Harassment at work doubles

16 December 2004

BRUSSELS – Complaints by workers over harassment in the workplace have doubled in the past year, according to figures out on Thursday.

Since a law introduced in 2002, Belgian employees have been able to take allegations of abuse to the Medical Inspectorate at the Employment Ministry.

In the first 18 months of the law, the inspectors received two complaints a day for investigation. But in the first six months of this year, they got as many as four.

The increase in complaints was revealed by the socialist Employment Minister Freya Van den Boscche after a question by VLD MP Maggie De Block.

The figures showed striking regional differences in Belgium, with 233 complaints made in Wallonia compared to just 130 in Brussels and 115 in Flanders.

The region of Hainaut seems to have the biggest problem of work harassment: of the 548 cases made between July 2002 and November 2003, 431 were made though the Charleroi office, compared to 117 registered with the Liege office.

However, the Hainaut authorities have stressed that an extensive publicity campaign has ensured that workers know about the law.

[Copyright Expatica 2004]

Subject: Belgian news