Occupational rehabilitation is intended for people of working age who have reduced ability to work and who therefore need help of different specialists in order to start or continue working. Illness does not always mean that the person loses his or her ability to work. Person’s ability to work is not generalisable, but always related to the specific job. For example: a person loses ability to walk due to an illness or an accident, and has to use a mobility aid, such as a wheelchair. If he or she is a warehouse worker whose duties include standing and walking, he or she loses working ability completely. However, if the company allows a wheelchaired employee to continue working in the customer support department of the logistics centre, where work can also be done sitting, then the employee is able to work.
People with the same illness can have very different working capacities. It is also affected by other characteristics, such as learning ability, previous training and other co-morbidities. When assessing working capacity, distinction should be made between terms „functional capacity“ and „working capacity“. Functional capacity is always assessed together with the aid the person has to use due to his or her health. The aim of occupational rehabilitation is to support incapacity pensioners and people of working age who have reduced working capacity in living a full life by helping them to find appropriate work and stay at work using services provided on the labor market. We help the employer in adjusting the work environment to suit employees with reduced working capacity.
Employer who employs a person with reduced working capacity can apply for a social tax benefit from the Estonian Unemployment Insurance Fund. Our working capacity coordinator advises entrepreneurs on tax benefits and other possibilities related to employee’s reduced working capacity. In addition, we help to assess the employee’s working capacity and to fill the applications for working capacity benefits, if necessary.