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The Journal for Employee Protection
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Good Working Conditions Still Exist

Number of Swiss who reported their health was good or very good is still high


The State Secretariat for Economic Affairs, SECO, has participated for the second time in the European Survey on Working Conditions, in cooperation with the Federal Coordination Commission for Occupational Safety (EKAS 2015). The number of Swiss who reported their health was good or very good is still high in the European comparison. But the scope for design of the employees is diminishing.

In the European comparison, an above-average number of Swiss employees rate their overall health as good or very good (89% vs. Europe 80%). The share of those who are satisfied with their working conditions is almost equal (88%) and corresponds to the European average. Comparatively few Swiss workers report that their health or safety is endangered by work (15% vs. Europe: 24%). In addition, the proportion of those who have a negative impact on their health is relatively low (15% vs. Europe: 27%).

The working temperature and the term impression of the dependent employed have declined between 2005 and 2015 and currently correspond to the European average. In each case about one third of the Swiss employees reported, Three-quarters of the time at high speed (32%) or under pressure (33%).

Decrease the design clearance

Generally seem Switzerland far more aspects of his own design margin of the employed 2005-2015 tends to decrease, such as the ability, the pace of work (2005: 73%; 2015: 68%), the sequence of tasks (2005: 71% , 2015: 63%) or the procedure for completing a task (2005: 80%, 2015: 72%). With this development they are in line with the European average. This means that, compared to the 2005 survey, Switzerland lost its leading position in the area of ​​design freedom.

The combination of lack of temporal autonomy and high time pressure can have a particularly adverse effect on health. Of this unfavorable combination about 11 per cent of the employed are concerned.

Increase in physical loads

Between 2005 and 2015, Switzerland is experiencing an increase (eg, severe noise, vibrations, painful body movements, repetitive movements) among a large number of the physical stresses involved during work. This trend is in contrast to Europe, where the proportion of employed persons doing such work remains stable. In the neighboring countries, they even take off. Overall, Switzerland equates to the European average level.

Self-employed workers

The Fachhochschule Nordwestschweiz has carried out a separate evaluation of the situation of self-employed workers. This shows that the working conditions of the self-employed differ in many areas from those of the employed. The proportion of self-employed people who report that they have long working days, work on weekends, have to be flexible in time, often have to work in their free time or have to come to work in the short term, are higher than the dependent employees.

Self-employed workers often have more freedom in determining their working hours than employed workers. 67 per cent of self-employed workers have great freedom in defining their working hours, Whereby only 12 per cent of the employees can set the working hours completely themselves. Particularly clear is the difference in the free pause selection. While 70% of self-employed workers can decide when to take their breaks, this can be significantly less than half of all employed (42%).

The proportion of self-employed people who do not perform monotonous work, receive high recognition, are able to implement their own ideas or influence important decisions, are higher than those employed by the employer. These aspects usually have a relieving effect. In addition, the autonomy of the content is strong. You can customize the tasks of your own workings. While 63 percent of the employees can determine the order of their tasks, 79 percent are self-employed.

The EWCS study

In the European Survey on Working Conditions, more than 43,000 employees from 35 countries were surveyed in 2015. The Swiss sample consists of 1'006 employees and is representative of the entire working population. The monitoring of the development of the working conditions as well as the comparison with the neighboring countries shows the authorities in which areas possible health risks occur and a control is indicated.

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SECO is the federal government's centre of expertise for all core issues relating to economic policy. Its aim is to ensure sustainable economic growth by putting in place the necessary regulatory and economic policy conditions. Employers and employees should ...