What to do when my employee's work ability has weakened?

Are you planning, for example a work trial at the workplace or has your employee received a preliminary decision concerning partial disability pension?

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Our work ability experts provide our corporate and self-employed clients with advice in rehabilitation and disability pension matters. You receive support and guidance for the work ability challenges faced by employees in your company.

You can reach our experts over the phone at 010 192 100 from Monday to Friday, 9:00–15:00.

You can also send us messages in Varma Online Service.

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Varma Academy

Varma Academy is an online learning environment intended specifically for our employer clients. In the service, you can easily find content related to managing and maintaining work ability to support your own work and development.

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General questions

Occupational health care will append a record of the occupational health negotiation to the medical statement B to be sent. The occupational health negotiation record must include the employer’s opinion and information on the employee’s possibilities for remaining at work at their own workplace. The role of the occupational health negotiation is important for that reason as well.

We request that the employer’s description be appended to years-of-service pension applications and, at our discretion, when the description is necessary in order to make a decision on the application. Please return the filled in form within two weeks.

  • At this stage it is a good idea to hold an occupational health negotiation, in which the opportunity to return to work is discussed. If an employee has been given a positive vocational rehabilitation decision in connection with a disability pension or cash rehabilitation benefit decision, he or she can look into how to continue at work through vocational rehabilitation. If the employee has received a negative vocational rehabilitation decision, the employee can contact Kela to look into rehabilitation options.
  • If your company cannot offer opportunities for returning to work, you can write a certificate stating that you cannot offer work suited to the employee’s state of health. The employee can then register as an unemployed jobseeker with the TE Office in order to find out their right to unemployment cover.

Questions concerning vocational rehabilitation

We first require a vocational rehabilitation application from your employee, if we have not received one yet. The application must include a medical statement B. Only then can we issue a decision. If the decision on the right to vocational rehabilitation has been given, we require a rehabilitation plan and occupational health negotiation record, and any medical statements that describe the details of the work trial.

If a decision concerning vocational rehabilitation has not yet been issued, the employee must first apply for vocational rehabilitation with a rehabilitation application and medical statement B. An occupational health negotiation record, if one exists, is worth attaching to the application. We require the work trial information either as an application, if one has not yet been submitted, or as a rehabilitation plan application, if a positive decision has already been given for vocational rehabilitation. The employee can fill in the application and plan on Varma’s online service. A recent medical statement B and any occupational health negotiation record, which are related to the planning of the work trial, can be attached.

The employer should also know the following: Is the work trial unpaid or paid? Who is the workplace contact person for the work trial? Who at the workplace should be sent the work trial agreement? Has monitoring during the work trial been agreed on as a collaboration between occupational health care, the employee and the employer? At the latest at the start of the final month of the work trial, it is worth charting the situation and planning for the time after the work trial: Can the employee continue at the job without vocational rehabilitation measures or should the work trial be continued?

Yes, but the employee must remember to let Kela know that the work trial has begun so that they can terminate the sickness allowance and avoid any overlapping payments.

The number of hours can be tailored during the work trial and be continued with fewer hours. We can support a work trial for a maximum of 6 months, so it is possible to increase the working hours during that time. The rehabilitation allowance is the same amount throughout the work trial, irrespective of the number of working hours per week. In a paid work trial the salary is also the same, regardless of the number of hours.

We do not take a stand on employment issues. The employer should contact the employee and discuss the situation. Often the situation can be resolved when the employee realises that their career is heading in a new direction.

Varma can support the employee’s employment for a short time after the training is over through job coaching that suits their state of health. Returning to their old job is often a step backwards for the employee and is not beneficial in the long run. The employee should contact Varma themselves if they are interested in a short job coaching period after the training.

Questions concerning disability pension

You can agree on working hours depending on your needs. It is important that the employee’s salary for part-time work does not exceed the monthly earnings limit stated in the employee’s preliminary decision. Regarding the earnings limit, it must be taken into account in the part-time work’s salary that holiday pay and several other bonuses paid during the year are also considered earnings. However, per-kilometre allowances and daily commuting allowances are not considered salary-type compensation. The pension recipient is obligated to make sure that their permitted earnings limit is not exceeded.