Impact of disability or illness on work ability (partial working ability)

A disability or illness does not usually affect working, getting a job, or choosing a field. However, it can sometimes reduce your possibilities of getting work or keeping your job. When you are choosing a vocation or education, in addition to your interests or predispositions, you must also take into consideration limitations caused by your possible disabilities or illnesses.

While an illness or disability may reduce your working ability and functional capacity, this does not necessarily mean that you are completely unable to work. Your opportunities for working and finding a suitable job are improved by 

  • a correctly chosen and proportioned job,
  • tailored work tasks and environment,
  • adequate skills and training, and
  • support for employment provided by TE services or the local government pilot.

A specialist at your local TE Office or the local government pilot will help you when you need information about your opportunities for finding work and keeping your job despite a disability or illness. Contact the TE Office or the local government pilot when considering the answers to the following questions.

  • What kind of work or education would suit me?
  • Can I continue in my job or should I consider changing careers?
  • Who should I contact when I need rehabilitation?

Employment and staying in working life can be supported in various ways

All public employment services take special needs for service caused by a disability or illness into consideration. You will not be left alone. You can discuss matters related to your employment with a professional such as a job coach. The municipal social services can also be included in this discussion.

You may also need other support and rehabilitation alternatives to get into working life or stay at work.

If your job search has continued for half a year or more, and you have not yet found a job, training, or employment promotion service suitable for you, the TE Office or the local government pilot will arrange job search discussions with you. The purpose of these discussions is to find an in-depth job search service that best advances your situation. An activation plan will be made for you to improve your employment and life management.

Read more

Cross-sectoral joint service promoting employment (TYP)

You may have an opportunity to access a cross-sectoral joint service promoting employment (TYP), if you are struggling to find employment due to problems with life management or limitations in your functional capacity, or if your work ability has otherwise decreased.

Rehabilitative work activities

Rehabilitative work activities can be a suitable solution when you are returning to working life after prolonged unemployment, starting your career, or rehabilitating from an illness or a difficult time in your life. Rehabilitative work activities are designed for people who cannot participate in the services offered by the TE services or the local government pilots.

Career choice, career guidance, and education advisory services

Career choice, career guidance, and education advisory services help you find options that are right for you, for instance, if you are unsure which industry would suit your work ability. The services may also be helpful if your current job or profession is no longer suitable for you, or you want to look for new kinds of tasks for other reasons.

Job search training and career coaching

The job search training process will teach you the skills that you need to look for work independently and in a goal-oriented manner. In career coaching, you will get information, counselling, guidance and support for clarifying your vocational guidance and career options, applying for education and developing working life competencies.

Work try-out

A work try-out allows you to test how stressful a job is and find out whether it matches your work ability.

Job coaching

A job coach will help you personally when you are looking for a job that matches your work ability.

Pay subsidy

A pay subsidy is a form of financial support that TE services can grant to an employer to cover the salary costs of an unemployed job seeker and as compensation for the time spent on work supervision. Your employer may also be granted a pay subsidy if you have a disability or illness that affects your ability to cope with your work tasks.

Discuss with a specialist at your TE Office or local government pilot whether the employer could receive a pay subsidy for hiring you. If the subsidy can be granted, you should mention it to the employer when you are applying for a job.

When agreeing on work covered by a pay subsidy with your employer, explain whether you are a TE Office or a local government pilot customer. The employer needs this information for submitting an application for a pay subsidy.

If you find employment supported by a pay subsidy in your municipality of residence, i.e. the municipality is the applicant for the pay subsidy or the pay subsidy is funded by the European Social Fund, the pay subsidy is granted by the TE Office.

Health examination and other health services for unemployed people

You should find out what your current state of health is if it has not been checked in a long time or if you feel like it has changed. If you are unemployed, the TE Office or local government pilot is responsible for providing you with an examination of your working ability and functional capacity. You need a medical certificate so that you can participate in services promoting work ability.

Your health can be examined

  • in a medical examination for unemployed people if you are unemployed,
  • occupational health care services if you are employed, or
  • student health care if you are a student.

TE services specialists and working ability coordinators

A specialist at your local TE Office or local government pilot is responsible for referring you to services suitable for your working ability and functional capacity.

TE Offices also employ work ability coordinators who help employers hire persons with partial working ability and support job seekers in matters related to work ability and employment. This means that the work ability coordinator will support you at all stages related to finding employment or staying in working life.

If you are a customer of a local government pilot, your municipality of residence will support you in matters related to work ability and employment.

TE Office’s telephone services are also available to you.

One-Stop Guidance Centers

If you are aged under 30, a visit to a One-Stop Guidance Center can help you get started with identifying your working ability. The One-Stop Guidance Center provides you with information and guidance on matters related to studying, finding employment, and the workings of everyday life.

Rehabilitation

Rehabilitation may help you when the disability or illness complicates your studies, work, or coping at different stages of life.

Rehabilitation is organised by Kela, public health care, occupational health care, municipal social services, disability organisations, transport and accident insurance institutions, and earnings-related pension insurance companies. Kela and the transport and accident insurance institutions can also secure your livelihood when you participate in rehabilitation. They may also cover costs related to participation in rehabilitation.

Vocational rehabilitation can help you with choosing a suitable vocational field, finding employment, and staying in or returning to working life despite your illness. Traffic and accident insurance institutions, work pension companies, and Kela organise legally mandated professional rehabilitation. Access to rehabilitation requires meeting certain requirements.

You can find out from your doctor or Kela which party organises the rehabilitation that you can apply for. An expert at your TE Office or local government pilot can also help you find out about your possibilities for rehabilitation.

Certificate for job applicants with partial working ability

As a client of TE services, you can ask your local TE Office or local government pilot for a certificate that indicates that you have been entered into the customer register of the TE Office as a job applicant with partial working ability. The purpose of the certificate is to make it easier for job seekers with partial working ability to find employment with large employers. Once you have received the certificate, submit it to the employer.

Abilitator

The Abilitator is a free self-assessment method for all people of working age. Use the Abilitator to find out about your situation, strengths, and development needs.

Working conditions can be arranged to correspond to your working ability

Employers have an obligation and often also the desire to make reasonable modifications in the work and working conditions if it will eliminate an impediment to work caused by an injury or illness.

Job adjustments

If issues such as illness or disability prevent you from doing your work, your workplace can make adjustments to your job. Adjustments refer to changes at work that involve modifying your job description to better correspond to and support your expertise and work ability.

Subsidy for arranging working conditions

Getting a job or keeping it can require changes at the workplace. You might also need help in some work tasks.

A subsidy may be granted to the employer for the task of arranging working conditions. Discuss with an expert in your TE Office or local government pilot whether your employer could receive the subsidy for arranging working conditions if they are paying you a wage.

You can discuss the matter with your occupational health care provider if you are already employed and feel that changes should be made at your workplace to support your work ability. If the subsidy can be granted, you should mention it to your employer.

Further information

Further information on supporting working ability, employment, and staying at work is available on other websites

This website is part of the European Commission's Your Europe portal. Did you find what you were looking for? Give feedback! (europa.eu)

Updated: