The Flemish Employers’ Organization wants a “virtual note” that explains what a sick employee can do.
Yesterday, at a health conference, Hans Martins, managing director of the Flemish employers’ organization Voka, called for tackling long-term illness as a priority. Foca sees ‘alarming’ increase in long-term patients with alarm (DS January 29) He wants to open up the discussion.
Maertens basically wants to get rid of the black and white thinking of absenteeism due to illness. Now the disease is directly related to staying at home and severing all ties with work. But those who develop the disease often remain able to perform certain tasks. Instead of pathological notes, there should be “appropriate notes”, where the doctor notes what the person in question can still do. Maertens says that fitnote makes it possible to have a conversation between employer and employee. Obviously the decision is up to the GP and there will still be people who will have to fully recover at home. But continuing to meet colleagues a few days a week can also be beneficial. In this way, a long-sick person does not lose full contact with the workplace.
At the same time, Maertens stresses that mental problems, one of the biggest causes of long-term illnesses, are almost untreated in today’s workplace. It must be different. We have to get this out of the taboo.
Foca’s suggestion is not new. N-VA also requested a fitness certificate in lieu of a sick note for some time. Gruen also recently argued for such an appropriate note, albeit with the nuance that sick notes should be abolished in short periods of absence.
Satisfactory note for a month
Hit: Voka goes one step further by saying that only GPs should be allowed to cancel registrations for a maximum of one month of sick absence. After that month, the company’s doctor immediately comes into the picture to “look for solutions together”. “We have to re-evaluate the role of the company’s physicians,” says Maertens. “They know the best possibilities within the company and can consider reintegration.”
Maertens wants to be able to respond more quickly. Federal Health Minister Frank Vandenbroek (Forwitt) current plans to: Involve back coaches for this purposeHe calls it a ‘good initiative’ but it’s also ‘too little’. They did not take any action until after three months of inability to work. it is too late.
Maertens stresses that sick notes “are not the only solution.” Words with a negative connotation, such as examining doctor, screening service, reintegration, or disability, still refer to the 20th century approach. A new pact is needed with the trade unions on a whole new vision of the disease.
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