1887

Sickness, Disability and Work: Breaking the Barriers

A Synthesis of Findings across OECD Countries

image of Sickness, Disability and Work: Breaking the Barriers

Too many workers leave the labour market permanently due to health problems or disability, and too few people with reduced work capacity manage to remain in employment. This is a social and economic tragedy common to virtually all OECD countries. It also raises an apparent paradox that needs explaining: Why is it that the average health status is improving, yet large numbers of people of working age are leaving the workforce to rely on long-term sickness and disability benefits?  

This report, the last in the OECD series Sickness, Disability and Work: Breaking the Barriers, synthesises the project’s findings and explores the possible factors behind the paradox described above. It highlights the roles of institutions and policies and concludes that higher expectations and better incentives for the main actors – workers, employers, doctors, public agencies and service providers – are crucial. Based on a review of good and bad practices across OECD countries, this report suggests a series of major reforms are needed to promote employment of people with health problems. 

The report examines a number of critical policy choices between: tightening inflows and raising outflows from disability benefit, and promoting job retention and new hiring of people with health problems. It questions the need for distinguishing unemployment and disability as two distinct contingencies, emphasises the need for a better evidence base, and underlines the challenges for policy implementation.  

English French

.

Activating Employers and Medical Professionals

Employers are key players in preventing health problems at work and facilitating a swift return to work for people absent from work due to sickness. This chapter sets out examples of good practice across the OECD to provide an effective combination of responsibilities and supports for employers, including stronger financial incentives to retain workers. It also seeks answers to the question how to provide a balanced policy package so to promote employment of people with health problems or disability through both job retention and new recruitment. Finally it also addresses the key role general practitioners are playing in the early phase of a sickness absence and ways to strengthen the employment orientation of doctors’ sick-listing practices.

English French

This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error