Philippines unions shift focus to employee burnout

The World Health Organisation has formally labelled burnout as a medical condition, and Filipino labour advocates want change.
By: | June 27, 2019

Unions and other labour organisations in the Philippines are calling for new strategies to address employee burnout in professional workplaces.

Josua Mata, General Secretary of the national organisation SENTRO says this health issue has been under the radar and has not previously received the attention it deserves among employers.

“Chronic workplace stress is a killer, literally and figuratively, and should be stumped out as soon as possible,” he said, linking the issue to current debate around hiring agencies and short-term contracts in the Philippines.

“One of the best ways to do so is to eradicate contractual labour in the country by passing the security of tenure law.”

Vice President of the Federation of Free Workers Julius Cainglet said the World Health Organisation (WHO) had recently formally classified “burnout” as a medical condition.

“This is a big challenge since a lot of employers find it difficult to comply with existing basic standards,” he said, adding that occupational health and safety norms needed to be upgraded throughout the country.

WHO has defined burnout as “a syndrome conceptualised as resulting from chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed”.