PSW policy


As much as a third of absenteeism has a psychological cause. Work-related psychological absenteeism is mainly due to psychosocial workload (PSW), one of the main occupational risks for years. With a PSW policy, you take preventive action against this most common cause of absence. But what is a PSW policy? And how do you shape this?

Bureau Veritas has a lot of experience in developing policy and implementing it. Thus, we help organisations find solutions to problems within this framework. We would like to help your organisation on its way too. Among other things with advice, by re-designing processes and by testing PSW research.


Every organisation with staff must draw up a Risk Inventory and Evaluation (RI&E) plus plan of action from the Occupational Health & Safety Act. A PSW policy is a mandatory part of it. Many things are probably already known within your organisation. Everyone knows how you treat each other and who you need to contact if you experience too much work pressure, or are feeling unhappy. Nevertheless, it is important to put these things on paper.  Not only because of the legal obligations – the Inspectorate SZW checks whether a PSW policy is in place – but also to create clarity. Let's say you or one of the executives are not available. Do your employees know who they can contact? And what if one of your employees has a problem with you – who do they go to? A PSW policy defines all such things.


PSW covers all factors that cause stress or evoke a stress experience among employees. This includes aggression and violence, workload, discrimination, sexual harassment and bullying.


The employer is obliged to take preventive measures [Art. 2.15 paragraph 2 Working Conditions Decree (Arbobesluit)], to draw up a policy and to inform employees about the risks of PSW to which they are exposed [Art. 3.2 Occupational Health & Safety Act (Arbowet)].This requires an RI&E [Art. 2.15 paragraph 1 Working Conditions Decree].


Working life can be seen as a journey. A lot can happen during that journey. If working conditions are not good, such as psychological pressure and dealing with others, work stress can arise. This can lead to health problems, absenteeism, long-term breakdowns and possibly even incapacity for work. The commitment of all stakeholders should therefore focus on optimal working conditions and the prevention of PSW.


Attention to PSW is important. Not only because you are legally obliged to implement a PSW policy, but also because work stress costs you money. Because work stress

  • reduces productivity;
  • reduces service;
  • increases the risk of accidents;
  • is bad for your employee's health;
  • increases absenteeism.

With a good PSW policy, you increase the sustainable employability and employability of your employees.


For additional information about our services and the possibilities, please call us on +31 88 450 55 00.