Supporting the employee

Work ability can fail even with well-planned and implemented measures to support work ability and prevent disability risks. In such situations, Varma can support both the employer and the employee.

Vocational rehabilitation

When is it time for vocational rehabilitation?

One key task of an earnings-related pension company is to help employees to continue in working life for as long as possible, at least partly. Among the most important means for this is vocational rehabilitation. Rehabilitation is always planned case by case. Here are a few typical situations in which Varma’s vocational rehabilitation may be a solution:

  • A return to work after a long period of sick leave, and the return must be staggered, with a gradual increase in the employee’s workload
  • Insufficient work ability for the current tasks; other tasks could be offered within the organisation, but these would require the employee’s competence to be updated
  • The company is not able to offer tasks that are suited to the employee’s work ability, but they may be offered in some other organisation

It is important that the rehabilitation is built collaboratively by the employee, the supervisor and occupational health care in order to ensure the most successful continuation in working life in terms of the employee’s state of health, the work flow and the work requirements. With the help of the courses in Varma Academy (mainly in Finnish), you can learn more about how Varma can help in these situations.

Log in to Varma Academy (in Finnish)

Where can I get help and support?

The employee must also actively maintain his/her own work ability. An active approach is also needed when work ability fails. But they do not have to do it alone.

For employees insured by Varma, there are clear instructions on what to do if vocational rehabilitation is needed but they are not sure how to apply for it or what other options exist for continuing in working life. It is a good idea for the employee, supervisor and HR manager to explore these options together.

Learn about vocational rehabilitation

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.

We are at your service from Monday to Friday, 9:00–15:00, at the number 010 192 100.

When disability is prolonged

An employee’s income during a prolonged illness usually consists of sickness allowance that is applied for from the Social Insurance Institution (Kela). Kela can pay sickness allowance for a maximum of 300 days, i.e. for roughly one year. During the period of sickness allowance, the employee has possibly already discussed returning to work or the possibility of vocational rehabilitation with the supervisor, doctor or HR manager.

Cash rehabilitation benefit and disability pension after a period of sickness allowance

If the disability caused by illness continues even after the right to sickness allowance ends and returning to work is not possible even with vocational rehabilitation, the employee can apply for

  • fixed term disability pension, i.e. the cash rehabilitation benefit or
  • disability pension until further notice.

We grant the cash rehabilitation benefit if, in our assessment, the employee is unable to work but his/her work ability could be restored with the help of treatment or rehabilitation. The cash rehabilitation benefit may last from one month to several years, and it can also be granted for several consecutive periods. We grant permanent disability pension if, in our assessment, the employee is unable to work and is not expected to regain his/her work ability.

Partial disability pension and the partial cash rehabilitation benefit as support for working part time

If an employee is able to work part-time despite an illness, he/she can apply for a preliminary decision on partial disability pension or the partial cash rehabilitation benefit. The employee can apply for these while still working full time, i.e. without having first been on sick leave.

Partial disability pension or the partial cash rehabilitation benefit may also be a good idea after a work trial that was implemented as part of vocational rehabilitation if the employee’s work ability is still not sufficient to work full time. The partial cash rehabilitation benefit or partial disability pension can be granted if disability lasts for at least one consecutive year.

The employee receives a preliminary decision that states whether they have the right to partial cash rehabilitation benefit or partial disability pension. Once they receive a positive decision, the employee can begin negotiating part-time work with their employer. The working hours and rhythm of the workdays can be agreed on freely based on needs. The decision states the earnings limit, i.e. how much wages or salary can be earned from the part-time work. Your wages or salary must take into account that holiday bonus and several other bonuses paid during the year are considered earnings.

The preliminary decision is in force for 10 months, during which time the employee must inform Varma whether they will accept the pension or not.

Read more about the cash rehabilitation benefit and disability pension

Help with using our services

Take care of your work ability matters online

In our online service, you can, for instance

  • apply for vocational rehabilitation
  • apply for the cash rehabilitation benefit and disability pension
  • devise and send a rehabilitation plan
  • send attachments