Permanent incapacity to perform agreed work duties with current employer seems to be main outcome from reintegration programmes
Quarterly figures from Mensura have demonstrated that most reintegration processes are initiated by employees themselves. Remarkably, the majority of these employees are declared permanently incapable of resuming the agreed-upon work duties while restricted work or other work duties with the same employer cannot be carried out.
In the first quarter, Mensura helped manage around 500 reintegration processes. In 69% of cases, it was the employee who initiated the process. Only 1 in 5 reintegration processes were initiated by the employer, while the other 9% were initiated by the National Institute for Health and Disability Insurance (RIZIV).
Majority declared ‘Permanently incapable of resuming work’
Of all reintegration processes completed, the majority (73%) lead to an outcome in which the employee is declared permanently incapable of resuming the agreed-upon duties, with restricted work or other work duties for the same employer not an option.
In 14% of cases, the employee is found permanently incapable of resuming the agreed-upon duties, but restricted work or other work duties with the same employer are an option. In 7% of cases, initiating a reintegration process is just not a suitable option due to medical reasons.
“These figures are in line with the findings of CoPrev, the association of external departments for prevention and protection in the workplace. Of course, looking at this short period of time and the current number of reintegration processes completed, it is still too soon to draw any major conclusions. However, we have noticed a few trends that were quite unexpected”, says Marie-Noëlle Schmickler, Medical Director at Mensura.
“To ensure the best possible outcome in these reintegration efforts, occupational health physicians need to strive for creative solutions in partnership with the employers. Declaring an employee permanently incapable of resuming work should be our last option. Yet, at the same time, it is not always as bad as it sounds. In the event that the employee is found to be permanently incapable of resuming work with the same employer, the health insurance fund can initiate the process of socio-economic reintegration. Through career counselling, a suitable position for the employee will then be found elsewhere.”