Since 2002, long-term absenteeism in Belgium has steadily increased each year. In 2016, 5.13% of the Belgian working population was on sickness absence for >1 month. In Belgium, sickness-absence benefits are paid by the employer in the first month and subsequently by social security. To increase the RTW chances among employees with long-term absenteeism, Mensura Occupational Health Services (OHS) developed return calls.Methods
Mensura OHS developed the following procedure:Results
By the end of 2017, return calls will be evaluated by:Results
By the ICOH 2018 Congress, preliminary results will be available.Discussion
Return calls can establish a proactive, constructive approach to increase the chances of successful reintegration of employees on sick absence. The results may inform targeted strategic-policy advice to reduce and prevent long-term absenteeism in companies.