News from the EU
New professional qualifications card raises doubts
At the moment, there is an ongoing debate in the EU concerning acknowledgement of the professional qualifications for some occupations. In practice, a directive regulating this would mean that in the case of certain professions, the minimum training requirements would be substituted by a common framework of training that would be applicable in all EU countries. The required qualifications would be registered in a common European database, and would entitle a person to a so-called European professional qualifications card. This would certify that a person is officially qualified for a particular profession.
Finnish civil servants are doubtful of the rationality of the proposal, because the extent and contents of the requirements for different professions vary greatly from one country to another. Labour safety is also being considered in the directive on short-term work, which would regulate the fixed-term work periods of workers coming from outside the EU.
A proposal to renovate mental health programmes
EU’s Occupational Health and Safety Authority (OSHA) proposes the adoption of a Danish system for promoting mental health. This means that a worker’s job description would suit the person’s individual needs. The health status and life-style of workers would be evaluated as part of the social responsibility programmes of enterprises.
Employees should not be pressured to participate in mental health programmes, but rather, the emphasis should be on their leisure time. Stimuli should be offered to promote a healthy life-style during leisure time.
Fewer accidents at work
The number of occupational accidents is falling in 15 EU countries. EU’s goal has been to lessen accidents by one quarter in five years. However, the EU Commission has not analyzed how the lowered employment rate explains the statistics. The European Parliament wants the EU strategy to include better targeted measures to protect people with untypical work contracts, and also stricter control to eliminate work in the grey market.
According to the EU, control systems should be strengthened by reducing the bureaucracy in the current occupational safety authorities.
Text: Anna-Karin Fris