Suicide (or attempt): work accident or working disease? | 2016

Author(s) Sara Isabel da Silva Maia
Advisor(s) Teresa Alexandra Coelho Moreira
Year 2016

Synopsis In the contemporary labor context guided by competitiveness, almost wild, and by the imposition of high productivity demands, in which we request the worker to do more, in less time and with the best possible quality, and hand in hand, inversely, we witness the reduction of the workmanship and increase of precariousness and work insecurity, the workers’ mental and physical health is endangered. Thus, we have witnessed the outbreak of new risks – the psychosocial risks – among which are identified moral harassment. That finds legal provision contained in Article 29 of the Labour Code, and to which the legal system did not fail to offer several reaction means, without, however, ignoring the evidence of the difficulties that this underlying. The enhancement of mental health at work is imposed in order to obviate the adverse consequences that exposure to psychosocial risks entails, either we see them at the individual level, business and of society in general, so it is urgent to find effective responses. In the field, particularly, of suicide founded on poor working conditions (and here, for example, subjecting the worker victim to moral or sexual harassment, stress, burnout, violence, emotional work,…) we believe that our legal system does not provide adequate protection to the worker victim, and by extension to its beneficiaries, since, at least, with regard to the interpretation that is made by the Courts, it has been obstructed that the damages arising therefrom are reimbursed under the regime of work accidents repairing. Well, it is believed that whenever it is established a causal link between the work and the suicide, demonstrating that the labor supply conditions were crucial to that extreme act, damages arising therefrom cannot fail to be repair deserving under the regime of work accidents. The appropriate legal treatment of this matter, starting from the awareness that the work and the poor conditions in which it is performed can trigger suicide, applies for justice issues and in order to protect a fundamental principle: the dignity of the human person.

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2018-02-07T15:14:35+00:00