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Mental Health and Work: Austria

image of Mental Health and Work: Austria

Tackling mental ill-health of the working-age population is becoming a key issue for labour market and social policies in OECD countries. OECD governments increasingly recognise that policy has a major role to play in keeping people with mental ill-health in employment or bringing those outside of the labour market back to it, and in preventing mental illness. This report on Austria is the eighth in a series of reports looking at how the broader education, health, social and labour market policy challenges identified in Sick on the Job? Myths and Realities about Mental Health and Work (OECD, 2012) are being tackled in a number of OECD countries. It concludes that the Austrian system provides good opportunities in principle for improving labour market inclusion of people with mental ill-health but that structural fragmentation of responsibilities limits the means of the federal government to develop coherent health and work policies. Successful structural reform requires including a range of actors responsible for policy implementation to achieve coordination across institutions and better integrated service delivery.

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Preventing labour market exit at Austrian workplaces

The workplace plays an important role in both workers’ productivity and sickness absence and disability. Poor working conditions may negatively affect mental health, but good management and professional support can help prevent – early and effectively – the exclusion of workers with mental health problems from the workplace. This chapter considers evidence of work-related stress in Austria, working conditions, and the absenteeism and presenteeism of employees with mental health problems. It also discusses the growing focus on psychosocial work issues and the recent reform of the Labour Protection Act. The chapter highlights some sickness management regulations and sick-leave interventions.

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