Press Releases Council calls for measures to address impact of precarious work on mental health

Council calls for measures to address impact of precarious work on mental health

Today, the Council approved the first-ever set of conclusions on the interconnection between mental health and employment, with a focus on precarious work.

“Combatting precariousness is one of the best antidotes for the prevention of psychosocial risks at work. These conclusions mark a significant step towards recognising the impact of mental health and actively promoting workers’ psychological well-being.”
Yolanda Díaz Perez, Spain’s acting Minister for Work and Social Economy

In 2022, 27% of the workers in the European Union suffered from stress, depression and anxiety. Exposure to certain risk factors related to stress and mental disorders has further increased as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Mental health and work are closely interconnected. Mental health is an important issue for work ability and productivity, and, conversely, psychosocial risks at work can be detrimental to mental health. In particular, precarious work, including poorly paid and unprotected jobs, may lead to disorders such as anxiety and depression.

With this in mind, and taking into account the emergence and consolidation of new forms of work, the Council invites member states, among other things, to:

  • promote quality employment policies to combat precariousness
  • strengthen public systems that safeguard mental health at work
  • promote research on mental health at work
  • support the recruitment or reintegration of workers with mental health issues
  • support self-employed persons and SMEs in preventing psychosocial risks at work

The Council also invites the European Commission to:

  • reflect on an adequate policy for addressing psychosocial risks at work
  • consider the right to disconnect as a prevention measure
  • foster coordination of national initiatives on the management of psychosocial risks at work

Furthermore, social partners are called to pursue social dialogue for the improvement of working conditions and to raise awareness on psychological well-being.


Mental health is a growing concern at international and EU level. One of the sustainable development goals in the UN Agenda 2030 includes protecting labour rights and promoting safe and secure working environments for all workers.

On 7 June 2023, the Commission adopted its communication on a comprehensive approach to mental health. Strengthening mental health is a multidisciplinary priority for the Spanish presidency.

Read the full text of conclusions here

Mental health (background information)

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