The Government of the Canary Islands proposes to adapt jobs to employees with post-covid sequelae

The Executive signs tomorrow with employers and unions the new Safety and Health Strategy at Work. Turns covid into an occupational risk and addresses mental health and climate change

Silvia Fernandez

The Government of the Canary Islands has outlined the new
Strategy for Safety and Health at Work for the years 2023 and 2027which will be signed tomorrow Monday between the parties, and the content includes a series of
news that attract attention. The covid, climate change and mental health problems of workers will now become a matter for the employer.

Among other things,
The Government of the Canary Islands intends to include the covid as an occupational risk and within its objectives, advocates adapting jobs to those workers who suffer from post-covid sequelae. As stated in the Strategy, the pandemic has had an impact on working people and it is necessary to "prepare for possible future crises as a result of new episodes", it is indicated.

The Executive goes even a step further and points out the need to
“protect” workers from the effects of climate change, and that translates into an increase in temperature and clear waves in summer. "We have to improve the protection of workers against more extreme weather conditions," he said.

In this sense, one of the objectives of the Strategy is to “improve occupational health and safety conditions in the activities most affected by environmental changes, such as exposure to extreme temperatures. In addition, the Strategy calls for considering the new emerging risks at work and derived from the digital, ecological and demographic transition.

Mental health is another of the novelties of the document and that, from now on, will have to be taken into account by companies. «We are observing that the demands of the tasks each time carry a greater mental load, which are increased by the new forms of work organization, so the prevention of the mental health of working people must be a priority.

business sources shows its disagreement with the Strategy, since it generates new responsibilities for the employer linked to the environmental and social situation. On the contrary, from
unions will fully supports and is considered to be a good document for years to come.

On the positive side, the Strategy contemplates
incentives for companies without accidents and promote them in regional calls. In addition, it advocates establishing good practices and information and advice actions to prevent accidents at work 'in itinere'.

The Government is confident that this Strategy will work as well as the one that has just been completed (2015-2020) and that it served to reduce the number of work accidents with sick leave by almost 35%.

2.4 million budget per year

The new Canary Islands Strategy for Safety and Health at Work, which will be signed tomorrow Monday in Tenerife between the Government and employers and unions, guarantees the existence
on an annual basis of a financial and budgetary framework with a minimum of 2 million euros. The amount, as stated in the Strategy, will be revised upwards each year based on the evolution of prices (IPC), and without prejudice to the budget availability of each financial year, so that other complementary incentives may be granted.

The final objective, according to the document, is to have
a budget item of 2.4 million euros at the end of the Strategyin 2027. The distribution of the financing will currently be established through the Action Plan of the Canary Institute for Occupational Safety, approved by its Governing Council.

precisely this will be
Governing Council the one in charge, within the framework of the social dialogue, of carrying out the control and follow-up of the objectives and actions of the Estregia.

The 2023-2027 Occupational Health and Safety Strategy will be signed tomorrow, Monday in an act that will take place in Tenerife. The Minister of Economy, Knowledge and Employment of the Government of the Canary Islands, Elena Máñez, the Deputy Minister of Employment, Gustavo Santana, and the General Director of Labor, Alejandro Ramos, will accompany the President of the Canary Islands, Ángel Víctor Torres, to the signing with those responsible for employers and unions with greater representation in the framework of the General Board of Social Coordination.

The new Strategy establishes a general framework for action within the guidelines established by the European Union in the 21-27 framework and the National Strategy.