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ETNO and UNI Europa outline good practices in the telecoms sector on how to improve the mental well-being of workers


14 Oct 2010


Social Europe & Jobs

14 October 2010


BRUSSELS – The Good Work Good Health conference was hosted by European social dialogue telecom partners, ETNO and UNI Europa today. They presented Good Practice Guidelines on how to improve the mental well-being of workers in the sector. The study was carried out by the Institute of Occupational Medicine for ETNO and UNI Europe, the two parties among Europe’s leading telecommunications network operators.


More than 120 delegates from industry, trade unions and the EU Institutions gathered for the two-day Good Work Good Health conference, during which the main findings of the study were unveiled.  Mental illness accounts for twenty five percent of total diseases in Europe and has a significant impact on individual workers, employers and society as a whole. Telecommunications companies are perceived as being employers sensitive about mental illness, making the best efforts to offer fair working conditions, as early adopters of new technology and contributing to an improved work life balance.  


The Good Work Good Health project, run by ETNO and UNI Europa, has had funding from the European Commission, DG Employment, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities. Published guidelines and evidence reviews were examined to identify work factors associated with impaired mental health. These included enhanced mental well-being, as well as work arrangements shown to mitigate the effects of or facilitate the rehabilitation of people with mental illness. Employment aspects such as organisational structure, flexible working, personal development, communication and relationship management were also analysed.


The study also highlights a number of examples from across Europe. They demonstrate how problems can be avoided and how employees who become unwell can be best supported.

As European social partners in the telecoms sector, ETNO and UNI Europa highlighted the importance of better addressing the mental well-being of employees in the sector. The new Good Practice Guidelines are intended to provide telecom companies with concrete examples of good practice.


The Guidelines are voluntary for the telecommunications operators throughout Europe and are available electronically in twelve languages including: English, French, German, Spanish, Czech, Polish, Italian, Romanian, Portuguese, Greek, Swedish and Estonian. The full Good Work Good Health Evidence review study is available in English, French and German at



About ETNO:


ETNO’s 41 member companies from 35 European countries represent a significant part of total ICT activity in Europe. They account for an aggregate annual turnover of more than ?250 billion and employ over one million people across Europe. ETNO companies are the main drivers of broadband and are committed to its continual growth in Europe.


About UNI Europa:


UNI Europa is a European trade union federation. It unites trade unions organising in services and skills sectors in 50 different countries. With over 320 affiliated trade union organisations, UNI Europa represents 7 million workers in key service sectors vital to the welfare of European citizens: Commerce, Postal services and logistics, Information Technologies and Communication, Financial services, Temporary agency workers, Social insurance, Property services (cleaning, security), Graphical sector, Media, entertainment and the arts, Tourism, Hair and beauty, Gaming, Sport. UNI Europa is based in Brussels and is part of UNI global union whose headquarters are in Nyon (Switzerland).


Contacts for the project:

Birte Dedden
Policy Officer
UNI  Europa

Tel:  +32 2 234 56 55
Fax: +32 2 235 08 70

Dr Paul Litchfield OBE OStJ FRCP FFOM

BT Group Chief Medical Officer

Tel:  +44 (0) 20 7356 3030

Fax: +44 (0) 20 7356 6047


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