Working within limits

Report on sickness absenteeism, incapacity for work and employment

pdf, 1MB
Gerda Jehoel-Gijsbers
Publication date
20 May 2010
Number of pages
978 90 377 0489 1

Original title: Beperkt aan het werk.

For many years, the Netherlands was known as a country with high levels of sickness absenteeism and a large number of incapacity benefit claimants. At European level, this was sometimes referred to as 'the Dutch disease'. Many policy measures later, sickness absenteeism has fallen and there has been a drastic reduction in the number of workers declared unfit for work. However, a new 'Dutch disease' is today looming on the horizon, in the form of a strong growth in the number of early handicapped people receiving benefit pursuant to the Invalidity Provision (Early Disabled Persons) Act (Wajong). The low employment rate among people with health impairments also remains a major issue. Greater knowledge and a clearer understanding are crucial in finding adequate solutions to these problems.

This study explores trends in sickness absenteeism, Wajong benefits and the labour participation rate of people with health impairments. The following questions are addressed: Is there scope to reduce sickness absenteeism further? Which factors are related to absenteeism and its duration? Which people receive Wajong benefit, and what are the chances of their finding and staying in work? Has the employment rate of people with a long-term disorder, illness or disability increased or decreased in recent years? Which groups have the best chance of finding work?

Answers to these questions were sought in a collaborative project carried out by SCP, Statistics Netherlands (CBS) and TNO Quality of Life.

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