Burnout is characterized by a severe state of burnout due to the adverse effects of the nature of the work, its organization or its environment. The employee feels emotionally exhausted and is no longer able to perform or cope with the work assigned.

The factors are numerous: too much work, accumulation of overtime, mobbing, conflicts between colleagues... The new technological means allow the employee to be reachable at all times and also encourage burnout.


Executives enjoy a strategic position within the company. Their higher salary is often accompanied by increased responsibilities and work time. Executives are sometimes motivated by the prospect of a bonus at the end of the year, which can lead to over-involvement in their professional lives. These factors reduce the amount of time spent on their personal lives and increase the risk of burnout.


In the context of the Covid-19 pandemic, many employees have been forced by the authorities to telework. Due to the length of the crisis, the home office was extended for months for some employees.

This situation is not without risks for the psychological health of the employees. Employees can feel isolated, far from their colleagues. Drowning in files, workers are likely to lose their way and no longer be able to meet their obligations. The employer must take preventive measures in order to avoid this situation from degenerating into burnout.

Preventive measures

The employer is obliged to take the necessary measures to preserve the psychological health of his employees, regardless of their position within the company. He must ensure that the workflow is organized in such a way as to avoid situations of overwork as much as possible. He must also take care of breaks or rest periods. If the employer fails to do so, he may be held liable, or even have to pay compensation for moral damages in particularly serious cases.


An employer who dismisses an employee following a burnout risk committing an abusive dismissal in several respects. It could be a case of retaliatory dismissal if the employee has argued in good faith that the company's organization caused his or her overwork. In addition, the employer cannot use the employee's inability to work or lack of performance as a reason for dismissal if the employer is responsible for the burnout.

Inability to work

In a burnout situation, it may be appropriate for the employee to rest or distract himself. The employee may engage in sports or leisure activities during his or her incapacity to work, provided that he or she has a medical certificate.

If an employee goes on vacation abroad, the health insurance may cut him off. The question of whether the employer should pay the employee's salary in such a case is delicate. 

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1 Mar, 2010 byMarianne Favre Moreillon