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Return to work after illness: the role of industrial relations


Return to work after illness: the role of industrial relations

REWIR project conference




Demographic change and population ageing have been identified as major societal challenges, with profound impacts for labour markets across the EU. These processes put pressure on the fiscal sustainability of the welfare state and the capacity of healthcare systems. In an attempt to tackle these challenges, member states have adopted measures to extend working lives. These include increasing the retirement age and the (re)integration of vulnerable groups into the labour market, including individuals who have become inactive through illness or disability. Within this context, healthy ageing practices and good workplace health standards have become EU priorities, as underscored in the Europe 2020 agenda.

The purpose of the conference is to promote an open debate on the state of play and the upcoming challenges for industrial relations’ actors in relation to workers returning to work after illness or for those with chronic diseases. Given the rapidly changing labour market landscape, including the effects of Covid-19, the discussion aims to explore future opportunities for return to work offered by the new EU Disability Rights Strategy for 2021-2030 and the EU Strategic Framework on Health & Safety at Work for 2021-2027. The panels will bring together participants from EU member states and EU-level organisations, inviting them to share developments in social partner strategies in return-to-work initiatives in their respective countries.

The research project “Negotiating return to work in the age of demographic change through industrial relations” (REWIR – VS/2019/0075) will inform the discussion. Its findings willshow how different industrial relations and social dialogue practices contribute to the shape of return-towork policies and extend working lives in the EU member states. Further information can be found on the project website.

This event is free and open to the public. Once registered, you will receive instructions on how to join via the KUDO platform.

  This project is co-funded by the European Union’s Employment and Social Innovation (EaSI) programme. 

Cinzia Alcidi Cinzia Alcidi
Cinzia Alcidi

Director of Research

Speakers list
Cinzia Alcidi, CEPS
Hana Velecka, European Commission
Sara Baiocco, CEPS
Nina Lopez-Uroz, CEPS
Leonie Westhoff, CEPS
Marta Kahancová, CELSI
Margaret Heffernan, DCU
Per Hilmersson, ETUC
Michele Buonerba, CISL
Erik De Bom, UNIZO
Margherita Roiatti, ADAPT
Roberto de Miro d'Ajeta, ECPC
Sylvain Renouvel, Federation of European Social Employers
Sarah Cospey, EU-OSHA