Kris Peeters announces 50 pilot projects to prevent burn-out


Initiative includes large and small organisations, with a particular focus on the healthcare sector

Lessons to learn

Kris Peeters' crusade against burn-out continues, with the announcement of 50 pilot projects across the country that will test measures to reduce its causes in the workplace. The federal minister for work announced the companies and other organisations hosting the projects last week. Many of them are in Flanders.

Peeters has been campaigning against burn-out for the last few years, calling it one of the greatest challenges of our time. In 2018 he launched a call for employers to test better approaches to reduce burn-out. More than 200 organisations came forward, of which 50 have now been selected by a panel of specialists. Each project could bid for €8,000.

"This project funding focuses mainly on prevention, with the aim of creating new initiatives and spreading knowledge and good practice," Peeters said, announcing the selection. "The projects take different forms, depending on the needs of each company or sector, but all will focus on the prevention of burn-out."

The companies range from giants such as Siemens and Bayer, to small and medium sized enterprises and organisations from the public and non-profit sector. There is also a cluster of projects involving organisations in the healthcare sector, where burn-out is a common problem. These include the Dr Guislain Psychiatric Centre in Ghent, Antwerp University Hospital and the Sint-Vincentius Residential Care Home in Deinze.

Most of the organisations applying to take part in the initiative will receive help from expert advisers, who will devise a tailor-made approach for them to reduce burn-out. That might mean adjusting workplace structures or changing the distribution of tasks, for example.

The projects will run through 2019 and the results will be evaluated at the end of the year. "I hope the projects will be a source of good examples that we can then apply on a larger scale," Peeters said.

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