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Supervisors’ view on employer responsibility in the return to work process. A focus group study

Paper i proceeding
Författare Kristina Holmgren
Synneve Dahlin-Ivanoff
Publicerad i Eur J Public Health
Volym 16
Sidor 191-195
Publiceringsår 2006
Publicerad vid Institutionen för neurovetenskap och fysiologi, sektionen för klinisk neurovetenskap och rehabilitering
Sidor 191-195
Språk en
Ämnesord Supervisor perspective, return to work, sick leave, rehabilitation, social support, collaboration
Ämneskategorier Folkhälsomedicinska forskningsområden

Sammanfattning

Background The return to work process has been found to be influenced by employers’ attitudes and measures, and the supervisors’ role has been described as significant. In the early nineties, legislation in Sweden increased employers’ responsibility regarding rehabilitation back to work for employees on sick leave. The purpose of the 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 methodology was used. It has the form of group discussions and is suitable for picking up the views and experiences of a selected group. Six groups were conducted and each group met on one occasion. Totally 23 supervisors experienced in managing sick-listed employees participated. They were in majority public employed. 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. The supervisor’s interplay with the parties involved, inside and outside the workplace, was described as essential to the rehabilitation work, as was the interplay between the sick-listed and the workmates. However, the participants saw a conflict between keeping the budget balanced and finding suitable tasks for the sick-listed employee returning to work. Conclusions The study gives us the supervisors’ perspective of the complexity of the rehabilitation back to work and this knowledge can to be used by rehabilitation professionals to improve and develop successful collaboration in occupational rehabilitation.

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