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Birkbeck academic meets with Spanish Vice-President and Minister of Labour about workplace mental health

The meeting took place at the Sixteenth European Academy of Occupational Health Psychology (EAOHP) conference.

A group of people stood together smiling at the camera.
Image credit: Jaime Cinca

Last week, Birkbeck Business School’s Dr Kevin Teoh was part of a delegation from the European Academy of Occupational Health Psychology (EAOHP) to meet with the Vice-President and Minister of Labour of Spain, Yolanda Díaz. The meeting saw the Vice President and delegates discuss the role of working conditions on workers’ mental health in Spain and across Europe. The discussion drew on Dr Teoh’s research on the impact of psychosocial legislation across Europe on workers’ mental health, and on the financial cost of work-related stress 

Currently serving her second term, Vice-President Díaz’s agenda has included significant structural reforms of the labour market in Spain, to address temporary employment and promote permanent jobs, increasing minimum wages, and enacting laws related to gig and platform workers (independent workers who are employed through agencies and temporary work, short-term contracts and app-based roles, as well as those who find employment through online portals). Additionally, she has established an experts committee on precarious work and mental health at work. This agenda for the prevention of psychosocial risks was presented at the EU level during last year’s Spanish rotating Presidency of the European Union.  

The EAOHP Conference, with its theme "Contributions of Occupational Health Psychology to Social Justice," drew over 750 delegates from Europe and beyond. It provided a platform for sharing the latest research in the field of occupational health psychology. Dr Teoh, who holds the position of Executive Officer at EAOHP, was instrumental in organizing both the conference and the meeting with Vice-President Díaz.   

Dr Teoh commented: As workplaces continue to change we have to recognise that poor working conditions are detrimental not only for individual workers, but for organisations and wider society. We need a more systematic approach to support mental health at work that focuses on the responsibility of organisations and governments. While individual target support services are important, they are no substitute for having good and supportive working conditions 

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