Work ability programme

work ability programme decorative image

Work ability programme to improve employment of people with partial work capacity 

The Government’s objective is to achieve an employment rate of 75%. Achieving this goal requires that people with partial work capacity also have the opportunity to work and contribute to society according to their abilities.

The work ability programme is part of the Government’s employment measures. Its implementation is based on Prime Minister Sanna Marin’s Government Programme.

About 65,000 people with partial work ability, who are currently outside the labour market, estimate that they have the capacity to work and they would like to work. The work ability programme seeks solutions to the acknowledged problems in the employment of persons with partial work ability. 

The aim is to promote the employment of people with partial work capacity and their wellbeing at work. This can be achieved by providing appropriate services to support their work ability. New means are sought, for example, from experimental projects for the introduction of effective services and operating models. 

The measures of the work ability programme concern the unemployed. Most of the measures are broad-based and seek solutions that support both the work ability of the persons and their employment.

The work ability programme aims to

•    identify the need to support the work ability of people with partial work capacity 
•    provide people with partial work ability individual and well-timed work ability and employment services 
•    strengthen the expertise and resources of experts to improve services for peo-ple with partial work ability
•    promote the creation of jobs for people with partial work ability 
•    develop services for employers to facilitate the recruitment of people with partial work ability
•    reform the current rehabilitation services based on proposals by Rehabilitation Reform Committee. 
•    seek solutions to lower the recruitment threshold by developing services and participating in the preparation of the social security reform.

The Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment is responsible for implementing the work ability programme in cooperation with the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health. The measures in the administrative branches of those two ministries support and complement each other. They will be implemented in 2019–2023.

The measures of the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment focus on removing barriers to employment of persons with partial work ability and boosting their employment. This will also help prevent long-term unemployment. Measures taken in the administrative branch of the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health will develop support services to improve the work ability of people.

Early support and services based on customer needs

The work ability programme shifts the focus from examining incapacity for work to strengthening the existing ability to work and function and promoting access to employment.

The Ministry of Social Affairs and Health is responsible for four sets of measures under the programme.

  1. Integrating support for work ability into the services of future health and social services centres
  2. Increasing the use of supported employment methods for those who are struggling the most with finding employment
  3. Strengthening the work ability competence of professionals and experts (work ability coordinators)
  4. Launching an evaluation study on the impact of project interventions and on the coordination of services and benefits

The Ministry of Social Affairs and Health is responsible for the set of measures that integrate services supporting work ability into the services of future health and social services centres.

The social security reform is also strongly linked with the work ability programme. The aim of the social security reform is to create a clearer and better functioning system which allows people to reconcile work and social security in changing life situations.

Discretionary government grants for supporting people’s ability to work

The Ministry of Social Affairs and Health has awarded discretionary government grants to municipalities and joint municipal authorities so that they can prepare and introduce methods for healthcare and social welfare services to support work ability and access to employment

Grants were awarded to a total of 22 projects from all over Finland. The total amount of grants was EUR 17 million.

Information on all projects that have received discretionary government grants is available on the website of the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare.

Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment:

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