Employees’ good workability lowers companies’ pension costs

Our workability management and rehabilitation services help client companies to save in pension and sick-leave costs. Employees’ good workability and well-being support the target of extending their careers.

Workability management is an overall approach developed on the basis of an analysis of the company’s current situation, realistic target setting and chosen methods. The development of measures to promote workability management helps reduce disability pension costs and absences due to illness, and improves smooth workflows and the well-being of employees.

In 2013, we worked with around 500 of our client companies to develop their workability management.

We surveyed the effectiveness of our services among our client companies that were, at the time, taking part in a workability management project supported by Varma. According to the survey, our clients are satisfied with the effect of our workability management services. On a scale from 1 to 5, the average score was 4.2 (4.1 in 2012). The survey respondents were the most pleased with the activities of the workability management development managers, who received a score of 4.5 (4.4 in 2012). Our clients appreciate the business-oriented and sparring approach of the development manager. Varma’s workability management development manager is there to ensure that workability management projects have clear indicators to measure the effect of measures aimed at supporting workability. Key indicators include the disability pension contribution category, sick leave rate and development of supervisory work.

During the year under review, the Workability Management Information Service was finalised. The service provides online tools for knowledge-based management, and enables a company to compare its current information on workability to Varma’s database or peer companies. The service also allows clients to examine the financial effects and estimates of disability contributions and the components of the disability contribution.

In 2013, Varma partnered with Väestöliitto (Family Federation of Finland) on a ‘family-friendly workplace’ project. New tools and practices were developed for workplace communities during the project. Family-friendly workplaces take different life situations into account in working and workplace policies. Studies show that family-friendly practices improve employees’ well-being.

Good level of employment following rehabilitation

In 2013, the number of rehabilitation applications received by Varma continued to grow. The total number of applications exceeded 2,000. In spite of the difficult economic environment, Varma’s vocational rehabilitation programmes implemented at workplaces, i.e. work trials, job coaching and apprenticeships, continued to produce good results: 72.4 per cent of those who used our rehabilitation services continued in working life following their rehabilitation.

Varma participated as an expert member in a project led by the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health to develop the insurance physician system. Among the aims of the project are to improve the transparency of the insurance physician system and to improve communication between the primary care physician and the insurance physician.

Varma annually carries out several investigations into the situation of those receiving rehabilitation services and those who are applying for disability pension. In 2013 we looked into the reasons and processes that lead to disability pension among our self-employed customers. The results will help us improve our services for the self-employed.

During the year under review we examined the situation in 2011 of those people whose mental health rehabilitation provided by Varma had ended in 2009. The results show that those who had received Varma’s mental health rehabilitation services returned to working life more often than other private sector rehabilitees. A survey on the employment of Varma’s rehabilitees following rehabilitation shows that rehabilitation improves the chances of employment.