Germany: Managing psychosocial risks in European micro and small enterprises – qualitative evidence from the Third European Survey of Enterprises on New and Emerging Risks (ESENER 2019)

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This report presents the case of Germany in a qualitative follow-up study of the Third European Survey of Enterprises on New and Emerging Risks (ESENER 2019) on management of psychosocial risks in micro and small enterprises (MSEs). Forty interviews were carried out with managers and workers in MSEs and the report addresses the findings in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Difficult customers and time pressure were the main risks identified, while the main reasons for addressing occupational safety and health were fulfilling legal obligations and securing organisation reputation. Reluctance to talk openly about the issue was the main barrier when addressing psychosocial risks.

Strengthened focus on psychosocial risks in on-site labour inspections may increase awareness and knowledge among MSEs. There is also potential for supporting organisational change through training, awareness-raising and work environment surveys.

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