To what extent is the company responsible?
6 mins read

To what extent is the company responsible?

Company Responsibilities

Yes, businesses have legal obligations regarding health and safety at work, which includes the mental health of employees. Additionally, businesses have an ethical responsibility to their employees, including providing a healthy and safe working environment. French law imposes obligations on the employer in matters of mental health, which appear in the Labor Code:

The employer sees itself obliged to ensure the physical and psychological health of its employees and to take the necessary measures to ensure safety and protect the physical and mental health of workers: actions to prevent occupational risks, actions of information and training, setting up an organization and appropriate means» (article L 4121-1 of the Labor Code). He must also avoid psychosocial risks (article L. 4121-2 of the Labor Code) and base this on the general principles of prevention.

In the workplace, psychosocial risk factors take various forms and can cause serious consequences both at the individual and collective level:

  • Work requirements (intensity, load, pace, etc.).
  • Altered social relationships.
  • Conflicts of values ​​(useless work, discordance with personal values, etc.).
  • Insecurity at work.
  • Emotional demands.
  • Lack of autonomy.

The employer’s obligations to prevent psychosocial risks and promote mental health at work are based on several key actions:

  • Analyze risks within the company: this involves evaluating the different criteria (work organization, workstations, etc.) in order to identify psychosocial risks, then recording the results in the Single Assessment Document professional risks (DUERP).
  • Train and inform: the employer must implement information and training actions to reduce psychosocial risks, by focusing on priority themes such as harassment, workload, customer relations, etc.
  • Prevent psychosocial risks: depending on the results of the DUERP, it is necessary to implement preventive measures to limit these risks. Below you will find several examples of possible actions.

Rely on the legal framework and accelerate performance

Beyond the restrictive and “punitive” side in the event of a breach of the law, mental health must be considered as the keystone of individual and collective performance at work. For what ? Because employees experiencing mental health issues are less productive, less creative, and more likely to miss work.

In France, this translates into a cost of €3,000/year/employee borne by the company (or €80 billion in France!), and which is explained by: absenteeism, departures, presenteeism … (Deloitte – Mental Health the case for investment). Conversely, according to our Employee Mental Health Barometer: employees with good mental health (scoring above average on the WHO-5 index) felt 2.2x more motivated to work productively than those with the lowest scores .

To implement a project aimed at promoting mental health in the workplace, it is crucial to adopt a clear, pragmatic and ambitious vision. Here are some fundamentals to consider:

  • Prioritize mental health: Mental health should not be seen as a simple “nice to have”, but as a real strategic priority. It is essential to recognize its importance to employee well-being and business performance.
  • Work in depth: It is necessary to approach mental health holistically, taking into account aspects such as company values, respect, recognition, skills, stress management, balance of life and managerial relationships. This requires commitment at all levels of the organization.
  • Support individually and collectively: It is crucial to recognize that supporting mental health requires both individual and collective actions. Prevention must be at the heart of the approach, with initiatives to promote mental wellbeing at all levels of the business.
  • Combine three pillars for an impactful policy: Lead a company-wide policy, integrating mental health into all HR strategies and policies. Focus on prevention, identifying risk factors and implementing proactive measures to mitigate them. Finally, personalize the approach with data, using data to understand the individual needs of employees and adapt initiatives accordingly. The Deloitte study – “Mental Health the Case for Investment” – demonstrates that, if they bring together these 3 pillars, programs aimed at preserving the mental health of employees present an ROI of €11 for each euro invested!

So of course, companies have a legal obligation which can accelerate the consideration of mental health in the workplace. But, beyond this obligation, it is also desirable to consider this subject as a means of creating a more efficient business model and a healthier corporate culture, where everyone can flourish and contribute fully to the success of the organization.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *