Definition: What is gradual reintegration??
Gradual reintegration pursues the goal of restoring employees who are unable to work after a long and serious illness to be integrated into the daily work routine and bring them back to the full workload. Meanwhile these Continues to be on sick leave. The possibility of reintegration is regularly checked by the doctor if the period of incapacity for work exceeds six weeks. Reintegration is only possible if the employer and the insured person agree and no negative health consequences are to be expected (§ 74 of the German Social Security Code, Book V). A legal entitlement to gradual reintegration in accordance with § 74 SGB V only exists for severely disabled persons. Regardless, employers are required by law to offer workplace integration management.
The gradual reintegration is also called Hamburg model Known.
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What are the requirements for reintegration??
The suggestion for a gradual reintegration is made either by the employer, employee or doctor. The goal of the gradual resumption of work activity is to return the insured person who is unfit for work to work as determined by a physician better integrate the employee into everyday working life. This is done, for example, with an initial daily working time of two hours, which is gradually increased depending on the performance capacity. The attending physician must regularly check and certify the duration of incapacity for work from six weeks onwards. In addition, the following prerequisites must be met:
– Before and during the measure, there is a incapacity for work (AU) before. – The doctor diagnoses the employee as having his or her Partial return to work can. – The employee is sufficiently able to work and can at least two hours work during the day. – It is statutory health insurance. For privately insured persons, only occupational reintegration management is available (see below). – The employee is familiar with the reintegration agrees and consents to this in writing. He has the possibility to withdraw from this at any time. – It has to be reported to the health insurance fund or a rehabilitation agency Entitled to sick pay or transitional allowance.
Attention: There is no legal claim to a gradual reintegration according to § 74 SGB V. This is a voluntary measure. Both parties, employer and employee, may insist that the employee not return to work until fully recovered and able to work.
Alexandra's employee Helen has been on sick leave for three months due to burnout and has discussed with her doctor that she would like to return to work in the form of a gradual reintegration. This allows her to gradually get used to the full workload while she is still considered unfit for work. Alexandra welcomes this proposal. Agrees to the doctor's comprehensive reintegration plan. She is aware that this program can be interrupted at any time in order to protect her employee. Initially, Helen starts with two hours of work a day. After two weeks, the number is to be increased by one hour, if her state of health permits it. After another two weeks, the reintegration plan calls for her to work half days, for a total of four hours a day. Helen is supposed to work six hours a day on three days during the following two weeks. This is followed by two weeks of six hours a day and then three weeks of eight hours twice a week before returning to full-time work. During the reintegration phase, Alexandra regularly asks Helen how she is feeling and what she is doing, and signals a willingness to listen.
Tristan, who works in Helen's company, has also been on sick leave for two months. Suffered from tendinitis. Would now like to return to work. Helen does not agree to reintegration, however, because she wants Tristan to fully recover from his handicap. She suggests that he talk to her again in two weeks.
Corporate integration management (BEM)
According to § 167 para. 2 SGB IX are employers obligates, employees who have been incapacitated for more than six weeks are offered company integration management in order to prevent future absences due to incapacity for work.
In contrast to gradual reintegration, the employee must pay for occupational integration management Is not compulsorily still incapacitated for work. For privately insured employees only a BEM is possible. You do not have the option of participating in the voluntary Hamburg model, as this is supported by statutory health insurers.
Gradual reintegration can take place as part of or at the end of occupational integration management.
For the period of incapacity for work one counts all absences of the last twelve months together, in which the employee is still incapacitated for work
– reported as unfit for work, – reported sick without a certificate of incapacity for work, or – was absent from work due to a cure or rehab stay.
As a rule, the Company doctor if the employee concerned agrees. This can Offer of a BEM however also reject.
How long does a gradual reintegration take??
The gradual reintegration lasts according to the Hamburg model between a few weeks and six months. The reintegration period depends on how much daily working time has been set and how this can be extended according to the employee's ability to work. As a rule, reintegration is scheduled for four to eight weeks, but it can be shortened flexibly or even extended to up to twelve months.
Find out what other responsibilities you have towards your employees in our advice article: Employers' duty of care. Read in now!
How does reintegration work for part-time employees??
The gradual reintegration is no part-time job. Although the working hours are reduced for the recovering employee, his performance requirements are also reduced.
For part-time employees, an appropriate gradation is also determined with regard to the scope of work, thus reducing working hours and work performance.
What needs to be considered in the reintegration plan?
The attending physician records the expected progress of the incapacitated employee in a reintegration plan. Employers must include in the reintegration plan. Employee consent.
The plan must include at least the following information:
– The beginning and end of the step-by-step plan – The type and duration of the steps – The expected time when full work capacity will be restored – Reasons and rights for withdrawal (employer and employee) – Additional reasonable measures, if any – Activities to be avoided
If, in the course of reintegration, it becomes apparent to the parties involved that the employee's health is not such that he or she can cope with the workload, it is possible to discontinue the phased plan. However, this should be discussed together with the health insurance company.
What is the payment for reintegration??
During reintegration, the employee receives not his regular pay. Instead, he is entitled to Wage replacement benefits sick pay, transitional allowance or injury allowance. These payments are not made by the employer, but by the Health insurance, pension insurance or the employers' liability insurance association. Who exactly bears the costs depends on what caused the inability to work: Illness, occupational injury, accident, occupational disease or other. For example, the pension insurance pays the transitional allowance if the reintegration takes place within four weeks of a rehabilitation measure.
Bonus tip for entrepreneurs
As an employer, you are not obligated to pay your employee wages during reinstatement. All payments you make to him are based on a voluntary basis. If you make payments on your own initiative, they may result in reductions in the employee's sick pay or transition pay.
Is there a vacation entitlement during reintegration?
During the reintegration of the employee, he or she may be subject to do not officially take leave, as it is considered as unfit for work. However, his leave entitlement does not expire, but can be accumulated and taken after the reintegration period.
What does a successful reintegration look like?
Employers can contribute significantly to the success of their employees' reintegration by accompanying and supporting them in their working lives. In doing so, they should implement the following:
– The Interview search with the employee. How does he cope with the workload? Optimism and have a positive influence on the person who is incapable of working. Feedback obtain and implement. How does the employee perceive the work process? What can be improved? – The Communication flow Should be kept going. Regular contact keeps all parties involved up to date. For example, problems are detected in time.
What happens if reintegration fails?
If, during the course of the reintegration plan, the employee has health problems such that he/she has to interrupt it, he/she may only take seven days off work. This break must be listed in the graduated plan. The order to stop can be given by the employer, the treating physician or the employee. If the person unable to work is absent more than seven days, the reintegration is considered a failure and the rehabilitation provider must be informed.
Katharina Bensch is the clocko:do expert for topics related to the daily work routine. With certified expertise on legal labor ies. Diverse experience as an editor she is in charge of the clocko:do info portal.