Mental Health and Work: Norway

image of Mental Health and Work: Norway

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 Norway is the fourth 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 Norway faces a unique situation whereby a generous welfare system stimulates large-scale labour market exclusion and significant socio-economic inequalities of people with a mental disorder, and hindering better outcomes of its employment and vocational rehabilitation programmes.



Reconsidering Norwegian sickness absence policies

This chapter provides an in-depth discussion of the development of sick leave against the background of the high level of long-term sickness absence which is the main route to disability benefit in Norway. The chapter discusses the increasing share of long-term sick leave due to milder mental disorders; the role of physicians certifying sick leave; and existing and possible new funding mechanisms for the costs of sickness absences. Finally, eligibility criteria for sick leave due to mental health problems and the use of partial sickness absence are questioned.


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