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Prevention of occupational deintegration and job retention: example in 4 European countries

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EUROGIP publishes a new note on the prevention of occupational deintegration and keeping workers in employment for health reasons. It presents examples from 4 countries with experience in this area: Germany, Austria, Denmark and Sweden.

This topic had already been the subject of a note (in French) published in 2010 and of the 2013 edition of the EUROGIP Debates. Since then, reforms have taken place. Indeed, in the current socio-demographic context (ageing of the population, longer working lives, increase in the prevalence of certain diseases, etc.), the return to work and/or the maintenance in employment of people likely to lose their jobs for health reasons is a major challenge.

The 4 countries that are the subject of this new note have in common that they have adopted a paradigm shift by valuing above all the capacity – despite their impairments – of individuals rather than their incapacity to work and the passive compensation of this incapacity. Moreover, they share, in their maturity on these issues, the fact that :

  • to act as far upstream as possible: the longer the interruption in work, the less likely it is that people will be able to return to work. Beyond 6 months, the chances of returning to one’s original job drop sharply and it is even more difficult to find a new one. It is therefore recognised that it is imperative to maintain contact between the employer and the employee during the work stoppage and to organise, without delay, the employee’s future return to the company. A job retention plan is sometimes put in place even before the work stoppage;
  • support individuals and companies: by offering the former specific rights and transitional benefits enabling them to reconcile their state of health with the maintenance of paid work and, for the latter, methodological, human and financial support to anticipate, formalise and organise in concrete terms the return of an employee who has been the victim of an illness or accident;
  • to decompartmentalise public services in a proactive manner, involving in particular those responsible for employment and social services. The examples cited illustrate the crucial role of coordinating social systems among themselves, in close cooperation with the company and the medical profession.

Download the note (in French)


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