Reference : HR managers views and practices in SME's regarding return to work of sick listed employees
Scientific congresses and symposiums : Poster
Human health sciences : Public health, health care sciences & services
HR managers views and practices in SME's regarding return to work of sick listed employees
Mairiaux, Philippe mailto [Université de Liège - ULiège > Département des sciences de la santé publique > Santé au travail et éducation pour la santé (STES) >]
Lequeux, Sarah mailto []
Lambreghts, C []
Mortelmans, Katrien mailto []
WDPI 2012 - 2nd Scientific conference on Work Disability prevention and integration
22nd to 24th June, 2012
University of Groningen
The Netherlands
[en] Disability ; occupational health ; human resources management
[en] Background
Little is known about the return to work (RTW) policies implemented in small and medium size enterprises (SME) which have limited resources to define and apply such policies. This study aimed at assessing the existing return to work practices in SME’s and exploring their view regarding the help they could receive from their occupational health service.
HR managers of 46 SME’s (23 in Flanders, 23 in Wallonia) employing 100 to 200 employees were contacted for an interview. The manager was asked to fill in a written questionnaire and to comment his/her answers in an open discussion with the researcher. The questionnaire involved three parts: 1°) describing existing rules or procedures when returning to work after sick leave, 2) assessing the manager knowledge of the RTW legal regulations within the occupational health care system, 3) assessing the occupational health physician (OP) involvement in RTW and the enterprise expectations for the future.
Participation to the survey was accepted in 38 SME’s. In slightly more than half of them a sick leave related policy has been defined. While almost all SME’s have a well-defined procedure for the RTW examination by the OP, only 22 (out of 38) have defined procedures for maintaining a contact with the worker during the sick leave period, only 17 are informing their employees about the possibility to meet the OP during that period, and only 6 are systematically organising a worker-supervisor meeting when the worker comes back at work. Knowledge about RTW regulations is rather poor: 10 managers wrongly think that the OP may check the sick leave medical validity; only 14 managers know that the employer must inform the OP about any sick leave longer than 4 weeks; less than half of the managers have a good knowledge of the pre-return to work visit. Various expectations have been put forward as regard the role of the OH service: knowledge transfer about the regulations, coaching of the supervisors, training managers in carrying RTW talks with the worker, suggesting procedures, etc.
The lack of knowledge about RTW regulations underlines the need for information campaigns focused on the employers. The participating RH managers are awaiting a more proactive role from their OH service.
Bourse François Mignolet + SPF Emploi
Researchers ; Professionals

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