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Employees: Better to return to work gradually after a long illness


After a long illness: Step back into the job
If workers were unable to work for a long time, it is often difficult to return to work. Experts advise those affected not to rush anything and step back into everyday work step by step. Operational integration management can help here.

Back to work after a long illness
If employees have been unable to go to work for weeks or months due to a lengthy illness, it is better to return to work slowly. Gradual reintegration is often possible and also sensible. According to the German Society for Occupational Medicine and Environmental Medicine (DEGAU), employees who have been on sick leave for a long time due to cancer or a stroke, for example, would be entitled to gradual reintegration.

Gradually increase the number of hours
Other experts also point out this possibility: Marie Rösler from the Bremen Cancer Society said in a message from the dpa news agency: "The employer must offer occupational integration management (BEM) if someone has been unable to work for more than six weeks a year." The employer should clarify how the employee's incapacity to work can be overcome and what services and assistance they need for this. It always depends on the individual case, how that can look in detail. For example, gradually increasing the number of hours may be an option.

Adapt the workplace to your own illness
According to Rösler, the BEM is unknown to many workers. As a result, many employees did not respond when they received a letter from the employer stating the BEM offer. However, it is a good way to adapt the workplace to your own illness. This instrument has been available for over ten years. "Since 2004, employers have been obliged to offer occupational integration management (short: BEM) to employees who have been ill for a long time," the Federal Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs (BMAS) wrote on its website. It "serves to maintain employability" and ensures "through early intervention the individual chances to keep the job". (ad)

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