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Although the inclusion of persons with disabilities in the workforce is at the top of the policy agenda in Norway, the number of people with disabilities who return to work (RTW) is rather low. Studies have found that, in addition to disabled people's physical ability level, employers' attitudes and skills seem to be of vital importance for a positive return process. The objective of this study was therefore to examine the inclusion process from the employers' perspective, by gathering knowledge regarding the factors that employers experience as essential for positive RTW for persons with reduced mobility. Fifteen managers from six different counties, representing private, public and state-owned companies participating in the study, together with staff from local employment offices. Using an exploratory approach, the study identified key elements for a successful RTW, expressed in six focus group discussions on themes of importance for a return to work. The analyses identified three important processes in leadership: the inclusion process, the adjustment process, and the process related to costs and bureaucracy. The study indicated that a positive RTW was based on the workplace leader's communication skills, and the necessary adaptations being made at the work place. Besides the welfare benefits, the employers also called attention to the coordination of public services, and the way in which providers present their assistance, as essential for a positive work re-entry process for employees with reduced function.


Klara Jakobsen, Elin Svendsen. Employers' perspective: when a return to work is the objective for persons with reduced mobility. Work (Reading, Mass.). 2013;44(2):145-53

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PMID: 22927593

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