Regulatory Contexts Affecting Work Reintegration of People with Chronic Disease and Disabilities

An International Perspective
Living reference work entry
Part of the Handbook Series in Occupational Health Sciences book series (HDBSOHS, volume 1)


This international overview of regulatory issues that determine the context in which work reintegration takes place provides tools for researchers and practitioners. We first address the relevance of legal rules for the science of work disability prevention, underlining the importance of local regulatory protections and processes when developing measures that aim to predict return to work and examining the ways in which these rules affect behaviors of participants in work reintegration processes. We then look at categories of legal rules that have an impact on employers, healthcare providers, insurers, and workers with chronic disease and disabilities who try to return to their pre-injury employment or to reenter the labor market. These include rules on workers’ compensation and sickness insurance, employer-employee-union relations, and human rights protections against discrimination on the basis of disability. We conclude that in most systems, the economic value of the disabled worker is key to the return to work incentives placed on employers, yet systems that provide rehabilitation supports based on eventual costs to employers will not be successful in promoting re-employment of low-waged workers. This leads us to question the ethics of current regulatory models that may systemically exclude those in greatest need of support.


Sickness insurance Workers’ compensation Regulation Employers Healthcare providers Work reintegration Chronic illness Disability prevention Job security 


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of Law (Civil Law Section), Canada Research Chair in Occupational Health and Safety LawUniversity of OttawaOttawaCanada

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