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Sickness, Disability and Work: Breaking the Barriers (Vol. 3)

Denmark, Finland, Ireland and the Netherlands

image of Sickness, Disability and Work: Breaking the Barriers (Vol. 3)
Too many workers leave the labour market permanently due to health problems, and yet too many people with a disabling condition are denied the opportunity to work. This third report in the OECD series Sickness, Disability and Work explores the possible factors behind this paradox. It looks specifically at the cases of Denmark, Finland, Ireland and the Netherlands, and highlights the roles of institutions and policies. A range of reform recommendations is put forward to deal with specific challenges facing the four countries.

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Institutional Incentives, Co-operation and Governance

Policy failure can partly result from complex institutional structures, a lack of co-operation across institutions and insufficient financial incentives for, and governing of, public institutions. In this regard, Finland and Ireland are facing particular challenges. Finland is recently promoting stronger inter-agency co-operation and there is also institutional target setting and performance management in place for the public employment service. Both are still lacking in Ireland. Denmark and the Netherlands are much further in the process of institutional change and the strengthening of institutional accountability. The main challenge in Denmark is the enormous cross-regional difference in outcomes, while the Netherlands face a number of new challenges related to the privatisation of large parts of disability policies.

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