The aim of vocational rehabilitation is to sustain and improve an employee’s work ability. The intention is to make it possible for employees to remain in working life despite any impediments caused by illnesses.
The basic motivation for such rehabilitation is always a proven threat of disability caused by an illness, disability or injury, which is likely to occur without the proper rehabilitation measures.
Timely support for an employee’s work ability benefits both the employer and the employee.
Vocational rehabilitation is worthwhile
• Rehabilitation is inexpensive compared to disability pension.
• Savings related to absences due to illness.
• Savings in personnel turnover costs.
• Less pressure to raise pension insurance contributions.
• An experienced employee remains in the company.
• The employee in question gains new skills and competence.
• The rehabilitation plan is specifically designed to meet the needs of the workplace.
Positive corporate image as a caring employer
• Good recruitment possibilities.
Extended working life
• Content and meaning in life.
• Wages or salary generally higher than pension.
• Better old-age pension through extended employment.
• Broader competence.
• Increased qualifications in the labour market.
Better quality of life
• Improved work ability.
Rehabilitation can be used to support:
- The return to work after an extended sick leave.
- A transfer to work tasks that are better suited to the specific health situation.
- A change in work or profession to one that is better suited to the specific health situation.
Vocational rehabilitation methods
An employee’s return to work after a long sick leave can, in many cases, be facilitated through workplace rehabilitation methods, such as a work trial or work coaching. This can be realised, for example, by reducing the individual’s working hours or lightening the work tasks for the duration of the work trial period. The aim of the work trial can also be to provide the employee with an introduction to new work tasks that are better suited to the current health situation. The duration of workplace rehabilitation is generally 3–6 months.
In terms of vocational rehabilitation, rehabilitation in the workplace is always the primary action. If the employee’s former job or profession is no longer compatible with his/her health situation and it is not possible to reposition the individual through workplace rehabilitation, Elo can support training for a new profession. The training can be carried out as further or continued education or in the form of a longer vocational training programme, such as apprenticeship training. The duration of the training is a maximum of 4.5 years.
Elo can provide a business subsidy to support someone in establishing their own company, changing the direction of already established business activities in order to make them more suitable for the person’s health situation, or conducting independent professional activities. In order to be eligible for the subsidy, the business must have an adequate foundation for operations. The business subsidy can also be granted towards the acquisition of work equipment and machinery related to the professional activities.
Duties of the employer
If the work ability of your employee has weakened:
- Discuss the issue with your employee.
- Arrange for work ability negotiations with the employee, occupational health service and if necessary, an HR representative.
- Advise your employee to apply for vocational rehabilitation. A medical statement B must be included with the application.
- Advise your employee to append the notes from the work ability discussion to the rehabilitation application.
- Complete a description of the applicant’s work tasks and append it to the rehabilitation application.
- Monitor the success of the rehabilitation.
- If you are paying your employee wages or a salary during the period of rehabilitation, notify Elo of your account number for the payment of the rehabilitation allowance to you as the employer.
- Notify Elo of any changes that take place during the period of rehabilitation, such as a sick leave of more than 2 weeks or annual holiday (a work trial of 6 months may generally include one week of holiday).