Early support

Early support is a joint action of supervisors, occupational health team and employees. With early support you can support a good atmosphere and promote work ability and well-being at work. That is why it benefits both the employer and employees.

What is early support?

Early support means that you support employees’ work ability and prevent it from weakening in the long run. The employer is required to monitor and to promote the work ability of employees and to build a company-wide early support model and act according to the agreed model. The model includes, for example, how supervisors should bring up work ability issues and how return to work after long sick leave is best supported in cooperation.

When you start up early support, you create practices that allow you to notice employees’ work-related issues early enough and to address them systematically. Early support works best when it involves supervisors, occupational health care representatives and employees. We provide information and support for starting and developing early support activities.

Early support activities help you to

  • build an attentive atmosphere in which people feel comfortable bringing up and solving problems  
  • intervene in concerns at an early stage  
  • bring up issues related to work ability for discussion
  • support work ability
  • monitor employees' well-being at work and work ability
  • manage work ability risk

Early support activities are described in the early support model. We help you make early support activities as beneficial for your entire company as possible.

Did you know?

The most efficient way to support work ability is at the workplace. 94 per cent of employers use a model for early support activities. (Pitkämäki, 2019)

They benefit most when it is used in early support activities as a daily tool.

Carry out early support practices together


  • monitor work ability
  • create permissive workplace culture
  • brin concerns up
  • implement work accommodations
  • organise work ability negotiations and participate in them
  • monitor employees' work load


  • responsibility for development and use of early support practices
  • commit to agreed practices
  • create a permissive workplace culture
  • ensure competence and capabilities
  • communicate practices and changes to them
  • monitor the impacts



  • bring up concerns at work and issues impacting work ability
  • engage actively in discussions
  • pay attention to your own and others' coping at work

Occupational health care

  • help create an early support model
  • organise work ability negotiations
  • support the finding of solutions
  • promote work accommodations
  • monitor the impacts and report on them