Rehabilitation contributes to securing skilled labor

Rehabilitation is an elementary component of the German welfare state. It helps to (re)enable people with disabilities and health restrictions to earn a living by using their own labor. An economically independent and self-determined life thus remains possible. Successful rehabilitation services can and must make an even greater contribution in the future to securing the supply of labor and skilled workers in Germany and extending the actual working life.

Against the backdrop of demographic developments and the shortages of skilled workers that already exist today and will continue to worsen, companies cannot afford to do without their employees for longer than necessary after an illness. The Corona crisis has not fundamentally changed this. Instead, companies have a vested interest in promoting and maintaining their employees' ability to work and preserving existing knowledge and experience for the company through reintegration. But also the better development of the potential of as a whole through (re)integration into jobs on the primary labor market is of increasing importance for companies. In this way, skilled workers can be retained or vacancies filled.
Medical and vocational rehabilitation measures will gain in importance in the coming years. The rehabilitation system must therefore be made more efficient and effective. Self-governance in the social insurance system is of great importance in this respect. Successful rehabilitation services geared to effectiveness and efficiency help to increase the supply of labor and skilled workers in Germany and extend working lives. But they are also crucial to enabling individuals to participate in the workplace and society. Last but not least, they are essential in order not to place an additional and unnecessary burden on the social security systems and to make them fit for the future.
Rehab processes must be improved
In principle, the funds available in the rehabilitation system are limited. Yet spending on rehabilitation services has risen steadily in recent years. Whereas in 2006 around €25 billion was spent on rehabilitation and participation in total, in 2018 this figure had already risen to over €38 billion. It is therefore crucial to align the use of funding instruments with the principles of impact and cost-effectiveness.
In April 2019, the BDA made for better and more successful rehabilitation: rehab needs must be identified earlier and timely care must be ensured, interface problems must be solved, and interagency cooperation must be further improved. It is also necessary to create transparency about the rehab process. Therefore, the new participation process report must be meaningful. Employers still lack a , which guides them through the rehab jungle. Medical and vocational rehabilitation must be coordinated in the best possible way. Since 40% of recipients of social security benefits under Book II of the Social Code are estimated to have serious health problems, rehabilitation must be given much greater priority under Book II of the Social Code. The principle of outpatient rather than inpatient rehabilitation must be implemented consistently, the services offered by vocational training centers must be made even more company-oriented, and the economic viability of the providers' own rehabilitation facilities must be ensured.
Participation procedure report creates important transparency.
The Federal Participation Act requires the Federal Working Group for Rehabilitation (BAR) to compile an annual report ( ), which finally creates transparency about the cooperation between the rehabilitation providers and the rehabilitation services provided. Better recognition of divergences and intransparencies in rehabilitation law that hinder procedures is central to improvements in a rehabilitation system that is divided into several providers.
Personal provision and occupational prevention must play an important role
Through prevention and improved private and occupational health care, rehabilitation cases should ideally be avoided in the first place. Each and every individual should contribute to preventing incapacity to work due to illness or damage to health. German companies can already look back on a long tradition of occupational health and safety and of working conditions that are conducive to health and performance. They make a significant contribution to prevention through successful occupational health and safety and a wide range of workplace health promotion measures.