Stress at work


The employer is obliged to protect the personality and health, both physical and psychological, of his/her employees. In particular, the employer must ensure that employees are not subjected to excessive stress at work. The employer is obliged to take measures to avoid stressful situations in order to prevent the employee from eventually suffering a burnout or being unable to work.


Stress at work, when it lasts over time, can lead to burnout. This burnout is characterized by a severe state of overexertion at work. The employee is emotionally exhausted and feels that he or she can no longer meet his or her professional obligations.

The situations that can lead to burnout are varied. Chronic work overload, constant and long-term pressure on the employee, the employer contacting the employee at all times... If the employer does not take measures to fight burnout, he/she is likely to incur liability.


is sometimes necessary when there is a temporary increase in workload. In principle, the employee is required to work overtime.

However, the employer is required to take measures to prevent this situation from being prolonged and causing stress to the employee. The employer must also respect the employee's legal rest periods and breaks. Requiring the employee to be available at all times and asking him or her to manage files at all hours of the day and night is prohibited.

Mobbing and sexual harassment

When colleagues adopt comments or behaviors, repeated frequently and over the long term, which are intended to isolate or even exclude a person in the workplace, this is mobbing. Sexual harassment is any unwelcome behavior of a sexual nature that affects the dignity of the employee.

This type of behavior is likely to cause significant stress for the employee. Over time, the employee may not feel able to return to the workplace or to fulfill his or her professional obligations.

The employer is required to take steps to prevent this type of behavior. The employer must issue a policy and provide procedures for dealing with harassment in the workplace. When faced with a situation of sexual harassment or mobbing, the employer must react. Otherwise, the employer risks incurring liability, particularly in the event of incapacity to work or dismissal of the employee who is the victim.

Measures to be taken

The measures that the employer can take to prevent stressful situations at work are numerous and varied. He/she can and should put in place a procedure to avoid situations of sexual harassment and mobbing. He/she must also organize the work in such a way that it causes the least stress to the employees. The employer also has the possibility to encourage the practice of a sport, whether it is on the workplace or outside, which has beneficial effects on the stress rate and the productivity of the employees. 

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