Partially disabled and disabled employees
An employee’s work ability may be reduced temporarily or permanently, for example, because of an illness, a disability or a crisis in their life. Almost every employee is partially disabled at some point in their life. Different services and support are available to support work ability.
An employee may be fully capable of doing their work even if they have a disability or illness that reduces their functional capacity. Work and working conditions can be adjusted as necessary. Some adjustments do not cause any costs.
You may get qualified, skilled and motivated employees when you employ partially disabled or disabled persons. They may take advantage of their own experiences and help your company to find new operating practices or develop new products and services.
When you recruit an employee with a partial work ability, you also meet your social responsibilities as an employer. Your company’s image and attractiveness may improve when you gain a reputation as a good and responsible employer.
If your company has a partially disabled or disabled employee, it may have to make different working-time arrangements, work arrangements, changes in the working environment, technological solutions, providing assistance, or different solutions for travelling to and from work.
The work may have to be adjusted when the employee starts in a new job, the employee’s situation changes during employment or the employee returns to work from sick leave. The measures help to match the work with the employee’s work ability and functional capacity.
When you recruit a partially disabled or disabled employee, discuss with the employee what kind of work task are suitable. If necessary, tailor the work tasks to make them more suitable for the employee and purchase assistive tools and/or get a personal assistant.
Make sure that the employee is given an induction into the work and reserve enough time for it. Tell the other staff about the partially disabled or disabled employee’s work tasks and working hours in advance. This way the others will know how to best take into account the employee’s special needs and help the employee.
Discuss the working-time arrangements with the employee. Part-time work is often a good option because it can be done flexibly as shorter periods. Be flexible with the working hours when necessary and ensure that the employee has breaks and the opportunity to go to rehabilitation.
You can get financial support for employing a partially disabled or disabled employee and for adjusting the work and working conditions.
Your company can apply for a pay subsidy for the salary costs of a partially disabled or disabled employee. The purpose of the pay subsidy is to make it easier for jobseekers to find work if they have a disability or illness that affects their ability to carry out work tasks. Pay subsidy is granted and its duration and the amount are assessed on a case-by-case bases.
You company can also apply for subsidy for arranging working conditions if new tools, furniture or alterations are required because of the employee’s disability or illness. If your employee needs the help of another employee, the support for making adjustments to working conditions may also cover some of the costs resulting from that.
Your company may also get help from a job coach. The job coach knows the personal skills and strengths of the partially disabled or disabled employee. The job coach may help your company to tailor the work tasks, assess the working conditions and familiarise your work community with the new colleague.
In addition, the employee can apply to healthcare services or Kela for the aids or tools needed for working. Your employee may be able to use transport solutions granted by their own municipality on the basis on the Act on Disability Services and Assistance for travelling to and from work. Read more on services for people with disabilities