Germany — ‘Integrationsprojekt Rehafuturreal®’: rehabilitation by the Westphalian pension insurance scheme
As part of the national RehaFutur initiative, Westphalia initiated the ‘Integrationsprojekt RehaFuturReal®’ project, a proactive, vocational rehabilitation system to reintegrate employees on sick leave into the labour market. Following a three-part assessment involving trained rehabilitation counsellors, a self-assessment and that of the medical doctor, a rehabilitation plan is agreed. The motivation of the worker has crucial importance in the vocational rehabilitation process. The plan may include vocational training, technical aids or work reorganisation. It is the rehabilitation counsellor who coordinates with the employer and liaises with the BFW rehabilitation association and other actors such as the integration office. Standardised evaluations found that 74 % of participants reintegrated into the labour market, 56 % with their former employer. Success factors were the individualised approach and access to expert knowledge from trained counsellors. Challenges were experienced when other factors (e.g. age) were affecting individuals’ ill-health or when individuals had experienced conflict at work. The programme is transferable to organisations of any size and sector, and in any Member State where insurance companies have a stake in reintegration into the labour market and are willing to work cooperatively with other stakeholders.