For 3 years, Aino has participated in the pilot project Work Environment and Health in Focus on behalf of Botkyrka Municipality, in collaboration with the Swedish Research Institute RISE and the Swedish Municipalities and Regions (SKR). The goal of the project has been to reduce sick leave and create prosperous workplaces.

The Swedish Research Institute RISE has now analyzed the project and arrives at the following in its final report:

The project’s efforts

• Health support: Prevents repeated sick leave by systematically detecting employees at risk of sick leave and providing early support. In practice, this means that the employee reports sick to Health Support, which provides advice and performs risk screening. Recurrent short-term sick leave is captured via thought-provoking conversations with the manager and rehabilitation staff.

• Management support: HR support to managers and workplaces through mapping of activities with high sickness absence in order to identify causes, see possible solutions and create action plans.

• Statistical support: Improved accessibility and visualization of relevant sick leave statistics in order to support strategic work with the work environment at management level.

In March 2020, short-term sick leave in the municipality had decreased by more than 7,000 days in total, compared with the reference period, which corresponds to an estimated value of SEK 15 million. The financial follow-up had to be interrupted due to the pandemic, but there are grounds for claiming that the project’s efforts are cost-effective for the municipality.

Despite the fact that the pandemic has affected the project, there are good indications that the working methods can have a positive impact on sick leave and the systematic work environment work. It is considered probable that the Health Support initiative will have the relatively rapid effect on sick leave that could be discerned. The data clearly show that employees with an increased risk of recurring short-term absence have a significantly greater risk of ending up in long-term sick leave, and the project has confirmed that they must work proactively.

There are several indications that employees with an increased risk of recurrent / long-term sick leave have received earlier and more effective support through the project’s efforts. Both managers and employees feel that the thought-provoking conversations fulfill a clear preventive function. Challenges identified in the management support surveys have focused on leadership, resources, workload, roles / assignments and the physical work environment.

Read the full report here:

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