: Issue 05/2019

WSI-Mitteilungen 5/2019, pp. 327-334

Frerich Frerichs

Career management and limited job tenure: Challenges and prospects for companies


In the face of the ageing of the labour force, concepts towards creating work environments that promote the health of employees are becoming increasingly important. Career management in jobs with a high work load and in jobs that can only be carried out for a limited duration seem to be crucial to promoting the health of employees and enabling them to work until retirement age. Against this background the author integrates findings from recent research and development projects that aim at the analysis and implementation of horizontal, competence-based career planning and presents company-based approaches. He critically reflects on the prospects of implementing horizontal careers more broadly and highlights challenges for future development. more... (in German) 


WSI-Mitteilungen 5/2019, pp. 335-342

Anna Gonon

Early intervention in the case of psychological disorders which lead to work incapacity – an ambivalent strategy


In the face of the rising figures of work incapacity due to mental illness, social policy recommendations promote the strategy of early intervention. Intervening as early as possible is intended to prevent the deterioration of health and the loss of employment. However, the principle of early intervention lacks a clear definition. This article analyses the ways in which early intervention is practised in the occupational reintegration of employees with mental disorders, as well as the role that it plays in organisational strategies. Empirically, the article is based on a qualitative study in two insurance companies and one industrial company in Switzerland. The observed early intervention practices aim at promoting the acceptance of the limited capacity to perform that employees suffering from mental disorders have. However, the actors tend to neglect an examination of the organisational factors causing psychological strain. Early interventions support employees in conforming better to performance requirements, but are not directed towards the goal of an early elimination of health risks in the workplace. more... (in German) 


WSI-Mitteilungen 5/2019, pp. 343-350

Stephan Voswinkel

Return to work in cases of mental illness: Challenges for Company Integration Management


Mental illnesses constitute an ever-growing share of factors relating to incapacity to work, and their importance in company health policy is increasing. The article analyses the possibilities and challenges of reintegration into work for those employees who had been diagnosed with mental disorders and had received treatment. It is based on a qualitative study of employees who had undergone therapy in psychosomatic clinics and of expert interviews with participants in Company Integration Management (BEM). It can be shown that a particular challenge, especially in the case of mental illnesses, is the fear of stigmatisation. It can hold back the affected individuals from participating in the BEM or from openly discussing their experiences of psychological burdens. The logics of actions of the different actors lead to a tendency to individualise BEM. On the one hand this enables appropriate action for each and every individual case, but on the other hand it implies that BEM loses sight of the psychological burden stemming from the general structure of the work situation itself. The BEM does, however, offer the potential to act as an instrument of situational prevention, if it is linked with other institutions of company health policy, especially risk assessment. . more... (in German) 


WSI-Mitteilungen 5/2019, pp. 351-357

Kathrin Filipiak, Gernot Mühge

Company internal networks for a return to work: Forms of cooperation between departments of job-to-job transitions in the internal market with the corporate integration management


In companies that have a department for the support of job-to-job transitions in the internal labour market, there is often close cooperation between them and the Corporate Integration Management (BEM). The aim of the cooperation is to deploy health-impaired BEM employees who cannot be further employed at the old workplace or old work area, to new jobs in a ­value-adding and problem-oriented manner. The effective company-wide placement is a challenging task, which in practice leads to a broad variety of network-shaped cooperation between internal and external actors. On the basis of qualitative research, the article examines the forms of coordination between BEM and departments for internal job-to-job transitions, as well as the network cooperation of the extended circle of actors involved in the BEM procedure with regard to the company-wide placement of BEM employees. more... (in German) 


WSI-Mitteilungen 5/2019, pp. 358-364

Marie Sophia Heide, Mathilde Niehaus

The status of representatives of employees with severe disabilities in the workplace inclusion


An inclusive work environment is an important foundation for a self-determined and equal participation of people with disabilities and health impairments in society. Through the legal anchoring and practical implementation of the Representative Body for Severely Disabled Employees (Schwerbehindertenvertretung), employee representation for the inclusion of people with disabilities can be shaped. Based on a survey of 1552 representatives of employees with severe disabilities in German companies, the article shows that their work is characterised by close proximity to their target group and that they thus fulfil an important representative and supportive function. It also clarifies that the actions and the scope of actions of the representatives of employees with severe disabilities are influenced by the expectations and interests of various actors, such as those of disabled colleagues as well as those of the employer and the works and staff councils. Against this background, there emerge role conflicts that need to be addressed through specific further training courses. more... (in German) 


WSI-Mitteilungen 5/2019, pp. 365-372

Carsten Detka, Susanne Kuczyk, Bianca Lange, Heike Ohlbrecht

Company Integration Management as a chance?: Creative search processes in small and medium-sized enterprises


In modern societies, gainful employment is a central mode of social integration. Safeguarding the employability of people with health impairments is economically imperative and of high biographical relevance for those affected. In procedures of Company Integration Management (CIM) which is mandatory in Germany, suitable measures are to be taken to ensure the continued employment of employees with health impairments. The article presents the conditions for success and process mechanisms of CIM in small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Although the level of knowledge about CIM in SMEs is often much less pronounced than in large enterprises, productive solutions can also be developed in SMEs within the framework of open, creative search processes on the basis of a work alliance between manager and employee in the company reintegration process. more... (in German) 


WSI-Mitteilungen 5/2019, pp. 373-381

Frank Oschmiansky, Petra Kaps

What the Supported Employment concept is able to achieve


Supported Employment is an employment and training scheme to support the labour market inclusion of persons with disabilities. It was introduced in Germany in 2009 and follows the concept of first placing the individual in the labour market and then training, instead of traditional pre-vocational training schemes. The Supported Employment scheme aims to create regular permanent employment contracts. The article describes the degree of implementation and discusses its particular potential. The number of participants remains small but in an explorative case study, most of the experts interviewed rated the scheme positively. The fact that the measures are taken up to varying degrees in the different states (Länder) indicates that there is still untapped potential. This is confirmed by those involved who were questioned by the authors in the course of the case studies. more... (in German) 


WSI-MITTEILUNGEN 5/2019, pp. 382-386

Wolfhard Kohte, Susanne Kaufmann

Low-threshold counselling – a successful example in Hamburg


Particularly in small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), deficits can be observed in the use of modern instruments of occupational health policy—e.g. risk assessment and occupational integration management (Betriebliches Eingliederungsmanagement, BEM). A new concept is the establishment of low-threshold counselling, which offers assistance independent of state institutions and social insurance providers. A counselling centre set up in Hamburg has succeeded in addressing three relevant groups: managers of SMEs, works and staff councils as well as employees who are looking for advice in a field that is difficult for them to grasp. For this purpose, orientation advice is offered which, for example, shows these groups different ways of making use of the BEM. In view of the strong demand, this pilot project has now been extended and marks a permanent new service in occupational health and safety policy. The article provides an overview of the concept, the usage and the questions yet to be solved. more... (in German) 


WSI-MITTEILUNGEN 5/2019, pp. 387-390

Petra Schütt, Irmgard Franken

Customizing jobs – adapting the work, not the employees: New paths for occupational health and integration management in the state capital Munich


This article focuses on the city of Munich with about 38,400 employees as a solidarity-based example for securing jobs for employees with reduced or impaired performance. The authors present possible courses of action for large enterprises, above all those in the classical areas of work where they try to meet the need for skilled workers in a prosperous labour market, and on the other hand facing the challenge of the increasingly longer working careers of employees who cannot afford an early –or even partial – retirement. Through various support models, the Company Health and Integration Management supports the continued employment of employees with reduced or impaired performance by customising the workplace and adjusting the tasks. The major effort is to customise jobs, not people. In addition, a “Social Fund” generates a preventive effect by financing further staff in the local departments. more... (in German)