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Title: Macro-level policy and practice relating to psychosocial factors at work in the Asia Pacific
Authors: Tessa S. Bailey
Yawen Cheng
Awang Idris
Sara Arphorn
University of South Australia
National Taiwan University
University of Malaya
Mahidol University
Keywords: Business, Management and Accounting;Economics, Econometrics and Finance
Issue Date: 1-Jan-2016
Citation: Psychosocial Factors at Work in the Asia Pacific: From Theory to Practice. (2016), 45-59
Abstract: © Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016. The Asia-Pacific region contains more than a third of the world’s total labour force (CIA, 2014), and yet there are limited collaborative approaches towards managing psychosocial factors at work. While countries such as Japan, Korea and Australia have laws and regulations specific in addressing work-related psychosocial risk aspects many other countries do not (Kawakamiet al. 2014). This chapter examines answers from a focus group of industry experts representing Australia, Taiwan, Malaysia and Thailand regarding industry, state and national policy and initiatives relating to management of work-related psychosocial risk factors. While specific laws relating to worker wellbeing, including compensation systems attributable to psychosocial risk factors such as workload and stressful work conditions, have been established in Australia and Taiwan, other countries are yet to develop clear legal processes. In Malaysia there is a general requirement for employers to provide a safe working environment; however, this is usually interpreted only in relation to physical health. For Thailand laws protecting worker wellbeing are limited to very specific issues such as chemical exposure and muscular-skeletal disorders (MSDs) but no clear expectations exist regarding psychosocial aspects. Socialised expectation to obey authority is identified as a barrier to better psychosocial risk management at work for both Malaysia and Thailand. Awareness of psychosocial factors and their impact on worker health appears to be growing in the region. For example a recently introduced model Workforce Health and Safety Act in Australia specifically refers to psychological health and in Taiwan since 2008 mental disorders have been classified as compensable, if due to stressful work conditions. However even in countries with formal legal and compensation systems in place, barriers such as limited enforcement and lack of focus on prevention of psychosocial risk factors continue to suppress the protection of worker health and wellbeing.
Appears in Collections:Scopus 2016-2017

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