Staff member going back to work thanks to Return To Work assistance

Published on 25/10/2022


Do Return To Work assistance programmes give you a better ROI?


These days, people are under increasing pressure and the anxiety-inducing current events (the pandemic, the war in Ukraine, rising energy costs) only add to their stress. In 2021, more than 500,000 people were off on long-term sick leave in Belgium, and this figure has been rising every year. The majority of these absences are due to mental disorders such as burnout syndrome. Now more than ever, it's important to look after your staff members' mental health. AG's "Return To Work" assistance programmes help your staff members on long-term sick leave get back to work safely and successfully. 


Mental disorders not only affect the staff members in question but also their co-workers and the company. 

As their physical and psychological problems worsen, they may become more irritable and less productive. This can then quickly spiral into negative consequences for the rest of the team such as more stress, low morale and a heavier workload. We know very well that when a team is missing one or more of its members, it can affect the entire company and trigger a vicious cycle. This is because the company has to absorb the additional burden in terms of time, energy, and administrative paperwork, not to mention the possible damage to the employer's reputation. 

What solutions are available? 

Resources for staff members with a stress-related condition are often scarce and fragmented, with long waiting times. To help get people back to work safely and successfully, AG has developed its multidisciplinary and individually-tailored Return To Work assistance programme.

Return To Work was designed to pick up where the legislation on back-to-work assistance leaves off.  The government has been looking for ways to reduce the number of long-term sick leave cases and get employees the help they need as soon as possible. By providing quick access to proactive treatment, AG is already filling this gap. 

How to get people back to work safely and successfully? 

1. Quick access to treatment 

Depending on the case, it can take between one and three months to set up the Return To Work assistance, and the average programme lasts four and a half months. Participation is on a purely voluntary basis. In other words, your staff members will systematically be given the opportunity to participate but are free to accept or reject the offer at any time. 

2. A multidisciplinary approach 

To meet the specific needs of your staff members, AG works with four specialised Return To Work care partners. All of the experts assigned by our partners (psychologists, physiotherapists, career counsellors, personal trainers, etc.) guide your staff members every step of the way on their road to recovery. 

Do AG's Return To Work assistance programmes really work? 

Since the initial launch in 2017, our assistance and guidance programmes have been hugely successful. AG has offered no less than 5,000 programmes in the past five years. This result also reflects the growing interest in Income Care income protection insurance. In a survey conducted by the Vlerick School in collaboration with AG, more than 90% of the respondents wanted their employer to include income protection insurance in their salary package. 

In addition, our Return To Work solution has clearly met the expectations of our insureds. 
Roughly 70% of completed assistance programmes are successful, and a staff member on long-term sick leave for a stress-related disorder will be back in the workplace after six to eight months. This is a major achievement, as 50% of staff members on sick leave due to a mental disorder and who do not have access to an assistance programme are still not well enough to return to work two years later.

Interested in finding out what other HR managers think of our solution? Watch their testimonial on our return-to-work assistance programmes​  

The Return To Work dashboard: the personalised analysis of your return-to-work assistance programmes

It's obviously very important to get your staff members back to work as soon as possible in order to keep the cost of absenteeism under control. Nowadays, however, this is no longer enough: we need to be proactive in how we address absenteeism and put a  360° approach    in place that covers everything from prevention to return-to-work assistance. To bring us closer to this goal, AG has just developed a new service to top up its Income Care offer: the Return To Work dashboard.

As a caring employer, you understand the importance of having a solid wellbeing policy at your company. Nevertheless, it can sometimes be a challenge to justify your wellbeing initiatives to your various stakeholders (management, prevention consultants, etc.) 

When you log in to the Return To Work dashboard, you'll find a range of information on the programmes your staff members are participating in. The dashboard results also give you hard evidence about the importance of Return To Work programmes as well as the value of providing your staff members with this kind of assistance. With the dashboard results, you can easily track and monitor the initiatives you've put in place. If your results are positive, it means you're on the right path. Likewise, if your results are negative, you can adjust your wellbeing policy to make it more effective. 

On the Return To Work dashboard, you'll find: 

information on claims filed against the Income Care plan
the results of your staff members' programmes 
a comparison of your results with other companies
information on your staff members' satisfaction with the programme and the care partner

At AG, we're sticklers when it comes to confidentiality: to preserve the anonymity of your staff members, the dashboard results will only be visible if your company has a minimum number of participants in our Return To Work assistance programmes. 

What are the key takeaways? 

It's important to take care of staff members on incapacity leave. But nowadays, that's no longer enough! 
To increase the chances of getting your staff members back to work safely and successfully, they need quick access to specialised multidisciplinary care. And that’s exactly what you get with our Return To Work solution. 
With the Return To Work dashboard, you can also monitor the results of your Return To Work programmes and make any necessary adjustments to your wellbeing policy. 
The best way to reduce the cost of absenteeism at your company is to apply a comprehensive 360° approach, and that's exactly what AG offers with its Income Care solution. 

Start today and reduce the cost of absenteeism at your company with Income Care.