Work trial to support returning to work

A work trial is the most popular means of vocational rehabilitation. It supports your return to work after sick leave, for example.

Who is a work trial a suitable option for and when?

A work trial allows you to return to your previous tasks at your old workplace or to try out an entirely new job. Changes in your state of health may require adapting your tasks to make returning to work possible. A work trial allows you to try out the suitability of the tasks in practice and to return to work with a lighter workload.

You will usually start the work trial with shorter hours, for example working half-time, and if necessary, also performing lighter tasks. The objective is for your working hours to increase during the work trial so that towards the end of the work trial period, you can already try working full-time.
Work trials usually last three months.

You can apply for a work trial also as a self-employed person.

Work trial plan

If you are interested in a work trial, discuss it with your employer and your occupational health-care service, for example in an occupational health-care consultation. Think about any possible tasks available at your workplace that you could take on through a work trial. Also discuss working hours and monitoring, and how you will be provided with guidance for your new tasks, and agree on them together.

If you cannot try tasks that are suitable for your state of health at your own workplace or if your employment relationship is no longer in force, you can perform a work trial somewhere else.

Your rehabilitation specialist at Ilmarinen will be glad to help you plan your work trial. If necessary, you will also receive help for finding a suitable work trial place through us. You can find the contact information of your rehabilitation specialist in your preliminary decision, which is available in our MyPension service under ‘My documents’.

Once your plan is ready, send it to us in our MyPension service. Send your rehabilitation plan to us within 10 months of having received the preliminary decision from us. Read more about the rehabilitation plan.

Your income during the work trial

If your work trial is unpaid, you will receive a rehabilitation allowance from us for its duration. You will receive it for a maximum of six months. We will also take out accident insurance for you and pay you travel allowances. Read more about travel allowances.

If you are paid a salary during your work trial, your employer can apply for your rehabilitation allowance to be paid to him or her. The rehabilitation allowance to be paid to your employer can be no more than your salary. If your rehabilitation allowance is higher than your salary, we will pay you the difference between the rehabilitation allowance and the salary. In a paid work trial, your employer will take out accident insurance for you. We will not reimburse your travel costs incurred during a paid work trial, because you can deduct them in your taxation.

Work trial agreement

When you have received our approval for your rehabilitation plan, make a work trial agreement with your employer. The agreement is a form which your rehabilitation specialist sends to your employer by email. Return the agreement to us when your work trial starts.

Include in the agreement

  • the contact information of your work trial place
  • the dates of your work trial
  • your tasks
  • your working hours
  • the amount of your salary and your employer’s account number if the work trial is a paid one.

Once we have received the agreement and your work trial has started, you will receive our decision on the rehabilitation allowance and we will start paying it to your account.

Objective: continuing at work

The objective of a work trial is for you to return to a job that is suitable for your state of health. In the best-case scenario, you will work in the same job after your work trial. If your employer does not have the opportunity to offer you employment after the work trial, you can receive support for finding employment through the TE services.