If your illness develops into a long-term illness, it is a good idea to prepare yourself for the meetings you are required to attend at your local authority. You can read about them here.
What does your local authority do?
When you or your employer receives sickness benefits, the local authority will prepare an individual follow-up process, taking into account the nature of your illness and your needs. The local authority must involve you in the follow-up process by holding a face-to-face meeting within eight weeks of your first day of illness. The local authority will also contact your employer, for instance to inform them of the possibilities of receiving local authority support to keep you at work. If the local authority organises some activities, the case worker must prepare a resource profile, describing your potential and resources and providing an assessment of your capacity for work. You can find the resource profile here.
What can your employer do?
If there is any uncertainty as to what tasks you are capable of handling, you and your employer can fill in a certificate on your future prospects (a form of medical certificate) in which you focus on your chances of performing some work tasks despite your illness. Your GP will subsequently give his or her assessment of the effects of the illness on your work.
What can you do?
If the local authority does not invite you to the statutory follow-up meetings, we recommend you to contact the local authority. It is important to maintain a regular dialogue with the local authority so that they, together with you, can examine and test whether you need any support to return to work. Getting started as quickly as possible is essential so that payment of your sickness benefits will not be discontinued before your future income situation has been determined.
You can prepare yourself for the follow-up meetings by considering and making notes about the 12 elements of the resource profile before meeting with your case worker. The case worker must, in any circumstances, help you describe the 12 elements, but your case will be dealt with more efficiently if you show up well-prepared for the meetings.
Having 'the difficult conversation'
After a long illness, many people experience a high degree of uncertainty about the future and many questions arise concerning their future work and financial situation. Some employers find it very difficult to talk to their ill employees, especially if they are seriously ill. They would like to show consideration for you and find it hard to deal with all the questions you may have about your future situation. Although you are the one suffering from the illness, resulting in your energy level probably not being at its highest, it will nevertheless most likely be a good idea for you to initiate 'the difficult conversation' so that you will have some clarity and certainty about your future.
Round table conversation also an option
If you cannot immediately return to your old job, it is often a good idea to hold a round table conversation where you, your immediate superior, the trade union representative, the case worker from your local authority and perhaps also your GP participate. Here you can find a solution to how you can stay at work.