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workplace conditions Trade union warns of rising stress levels and falling salaries


Trendy but stressed? A co-working cafe in Zurich.

(© Keystone / Gaetan Bally)

Swiss employees are becoming more stressed, fearful, and unsatisfied with their working conditions, according to an annual survey by one of the country’s biggest trade unions.

Releasing its yearly barometer on Monday, Travail.Suisse saidexternal link that conditions worsened last year across three main pillars: health, employee motivation, and job security.

According to statistics gathered from surveying its members, some 42.3% of employees are either often or very often stressed – a 2.3 percentage point rise from last year. Meanwhile, 13.2% reported being emotionally exhausted.

“Pressure on employees is growing along with psycho-social stress,” Gabriel Fischer of Travail.Suisse told the Keystone-SDA news agency. He criticised the fact that “politics has not managed to put in place a regular stress monitoring system”.

The trade union also warned in its barometer that – paradoxically – many employees feel as if they have lost control over their working time due to the introduction of flexible working hours, a phenomenon which actually makes it harder to reconcile private and professional life.

Meanwhile, salaries have dropped for two years in a row, said Travail.Suisse, who propose a general rise of 2% for 2020. Today, it found, 12.4% of employees reckon that their income is not adequate, compared to 9.4% three years ago.

And in a context of digital transformation, some 17.4% of employees now also fear for the future of their jobs, a 3.1 percentage point rise. One in three employees also feels neglected by their employer when it comes to training and development options.


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