Released a mapping report as part of the EU PATHWAYS Project (PArticipation To Healthy Workplaces And inclusive Strategies in the Work Sector)
The growing prevalence of chronic diseases in Europe and the low employment rate within this group  necessitate the need for implementing effective strategies aimed at the integration and reintegration of persons with chronic conditions in employment. The PATHWAYS project released the European REPORT entitled “Comparison of available strategies for professional integration and reintegration of persons with chronic diseases and mental health disorders,” that addresses this specific need.
The REPORT, resulting from a study conducted in the framework of the Pathways project, provides a detailed overview of existing European and national strategies aimed at integrating persons with chronic diseases and mental health issues in the labour market. The countries considered in the study are: Austria, Czech Republic, Germany, Greece, Italy, Norway, Poland, Slovenia, Spain and the United Kingdom.
Why is it important to help persons with chronic diseases and mental health problems to find, keep or remain in employment?
- The number of persons with chronic diseases is expected to grow in Europe due to the ageing of the population. If no measures are taken to accommodate their professional integration, various socio-economic problems may arise. Following are some examples:
- Inactivity and unemployment among persons with chronic conditions may result in income poverty, material deprivation, and social exclusion.
- The lack of integration and activation strategies for persons with chronic diseases can lead to the increased use of passive compensation measures, which can in turn result in the “benefit trap” and growing public expenditures on benefits.
- Unemployment and social exclusion can contribute to the worsening of the health condition, while employment can have a positive impact on the well-being and mental health.
Main findings of the PATHWAYS EUROPEAN REPORT
- To a large extent, existing European and national policy frameworks on employment activation are not specifically targeted at the employment activation of persons with chronic diseases. Instead, they target broader categories, such as persons with disabilities, long-term unemployed, vulnerable groups, etc.
- Emphasis should be made on the lack of policy strategies specifically targeting the employment activation of persons with chronic diseases and on the fact that strategies targeting persons with disabilities do not necessarily address the needs of patients with chronic diseases and mental health issues since the employment needs of these two groups are not the same.
For full report:
Employment and chronic conditions in the following countries
 Employment rate for persons with limitations in work caused by a health condition was 29.6 percentage points less than for people with no such limitations, according to 2011 data on EU-28 countries, Source: Eurostat, hlth_dlm010, 2011, both sexes, age group of 15-64 years.