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Supervisors' views on employer responsibility in the return to work process. A focus group study

Journal article
Authors Kristina Holmgren
Synneve Dahlin-Ivanoff
Published in J Occup Rehabil
Volume 17
Issue 1
Pages 93-106
ISSN 1053-0487 (Print)
Publication year 2007
Published at Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology, Department of Audiology, Logopedics, Occupational Therapy & Physiotherapy
Pages 93-106
Language en
Keywords Adult, Attitude, Employment, Focus Groups, Motivation, Occupational rehabilitation, Organizational Policy, *Sick Leave, *Social Support, Sweden, Workplace
Subject categories Occupational Therapy


BACKGROUND: Supervisors' attitudes and measures have been pointed out by employees to influence the return to work process. The purpose of this study was to explore supervisors' views on employer responsibility in the return to work process and factors influencing the support of sick-listed employees. METHOD: The focus group method was used. Six groups were conducted and each group met on one occasion. Twenty-three supervisors experienced in managing sick-listed employees participated. RESULT: Two different themes emerged; In "The Supervisor is the Key Person" the participants found themselves as being key persons, carrying the main responsibility for the rehabilitation of the sick-listed employees and for creating a good working environment, thus preventing ill health and sick-listing among the employees. In the second theme "Influential Factors in Rehabilitation Work" the participants described the rehabilitation work as a part of a greater whole influenced by society, demands and resources of the workplace and the interplay between all parties involved. CONCLUSION: The study gives us the supervisors' perspective on the complexity of the return to work rehabilitation. This knowledge could be invaluable and be used to improve the possibilities for developing successful collaboration in occupational rehabilitation.

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