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Into and Off Benefit: The Role of the State

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Early action is important to avoid that health conditions develop into more serious problems, eventually leading to a disability benefit claim. Denmark and the Netherlands have introduced guidelines for sickness absence monitoring of workers. Such monitoring is lacking in Finland and Ireland. In addition, countries need to do more to identify and assist people with health problems when they are not regularly employed, or unemployed. The Netherlands is the only country where specific guidelines have been set up recently to address health‐related work barriers of this group. At the same time, effective re‐integration measures are needed as people with disabilities experience substantial difficulties to exit disability benefits and to find sustainable employment. Denmark has taken big steps in promoting employment in the regular labour market through the use of wage‐subsidies, but more can be done to prevent misuse of these "flex‐jobs". On the contrary, a large proportion of people with health problems in the Netherlands remain on sheltered employment. Ireland and Finland lack systematic referral to employment services which limits the chances of activation for people with disabilities. 
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Document Type: Review Article

Publication date: 2008-11-01

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