Labour market integration demands a human approach
Roughly two million people are involved in some form of labour market integration in the Netherlands, due either to illness or to an inability to work. Returning to the labour market is a process that requires a human approach, says Angelique de Rijk, professor of Work and Health specialising in Work Reintegration at the UM Faculty of Health, Medicine and Life Sciences, in acceptance of her chair position on Friday 16 March 2018.
Adapting work to people is and remains crucial in facilitating participation in paid employment. However, optimal work reintegration requires much more. Research has shown that work reintegration is a diverse process that requires a tailored approach, particularly given that it's influenced by a multitude of factors that interact at different levels. These include individual genetic and psychological factors, the immediate social environment (i.e. the workplace and the home situation), the healthcare system as a whole, the social security system and other societal factors.
Based on her research, De Rijk identified sixteen focal points from the perspective of employees in the process of reintegration, employers, and reintegration professionals. These include target group identification, information provision, colleague involvement, a personalised approach, joint decision making, mental preparation, monitoring, and adjustment and after-care. Reintegration professionals and managers can decide which areas they deem desirable and feasible in their situation in order to develop a tailored approach.
As part of her new chair position, De Rijk plans to conduct further research on Dutch policy with respect to that of other countries, to the needs and perspectives of employers, to the link between hospital care and the workplace, and to the prevention policies pursued by employers.