Presentation T O35

T O35 (Oral Presentation):
Partial sickness benefit had a positive population level effect on work participation

Presented by: Johanna Kausto


Kausto J1, Viikari-Juntura E1, Virta LJ2, Gould R, Koskinen A1, Lallukka T1, Solovieva S1

  1. Finnish Institute of Occupational Health, Helsinki, Finland
  2. The Social Insurance Institution of Finland, Turku, Finland
  3. Finnish Centre for Pensions, Helsinki, Finland



Background Increasing work participation and extending work careers are contemporary societal concerns in many OECD countries. Partial health-related social security benefits have been designed to allow flexible combining of part-time or modified work with benefit recipiency to strengthen returning to and continuing at work. The aim was to examine the effect of partial sickness benefit (enacted in 2007 in Finland) on subsequent work participation of Finns with long term sickness absence. Two alternative treatments, partial and full sick leave, were compared. Moreover, it was investigated whether the length of follow up affected the findings.


Methods Population-based register data (n= 58 492) was obtained from three national source registers. Work participation was approximated comprehensively utilizing information on partial and full ill-health-related benefits and unemployment benefits. A contrafactual approach with a difference-in-differences analysis was applied. The time window of the study varied individually from three to five years ranging from year 2005 to year 2010.


Results Work participation decreased both in the partial sick leave and full sick leave group, with a larger reduction in the full sick leave group. The absolute difference in the reduction of work participation varied from five (95%CI= 2.4-7.5) to nine (95%CI=5.0-13.0) percent depending on the length of the time window. Some differences were found between different age- and diagnostic categories.


Conclusions Partial sick leave had a beneficial effect on the work participation of individuals with a history of long term sickness absence from work when compared to those on full sick leave. The effect was robust against varying follow-up time.

Schedule Details

Tuesday September 30
15:45 - 17:30 Afternoon Concurrent Sessions (T O25 - T O38 and Seminar 6)
Session: Social Interventions for work disability
Room A