Employer’s goal-oriented occupational health collaboration

Engage in goal-oriented collaboration with your occupational health services. Plan the collaboration based on your company’s and employees’ needs. That ensures that you will get the most out of your investment – and the best support for your work ability management.

Impact the services that you pay for

You decide where you purchase your occupational health services and how comprehensive the services you wish to offer in addition to the statutory occupational health services will be. Be interested in occupational health and actively participate in planning the activities. That way the collaboration brings value for your money and supports your company’s operations.

The law provides a framework for you and the occupational health services

The Occupational Health Care Act provides a framework for you when arranging your company’s occupational health services. It governs both the occupational health services and the benefits you will receive from Kela as an employer. As an employer, you must arrange occupational health services if you have even a single employee. As a minimum requirement, you must provide your employees with preventive services that support work ability. In addition, you can choose to offer them general-practitioner-level medical care services .All employees must have access to the same level of services, regardless of whether they are full-time, part-time or temporary employees.

The Occupational Health Care Act requires that you as an employer collaborate with employee representatives, for example with the co-determination committee, OHS committee or OHS organisation. According to the Act, occupational health professionals must be professionally independent of you as an employer and your employees and their representatives.

The link between work and health

Occupational health services form an interface between work and health. Your occupational health partner has a direct connection to you as an employer and the opportunity to negotiate with you concerning, for example, an employee’s work arrangements. No other health care professional has this opportunity. That is why it is important to engage in active collaboration with your partner.

Your occupational health partner is also your employee’s link to specialised medical care, basic health care and the rehabilitation system. The occupational nurse and physician not only provide health care to your employees but also co-ordinate their affairs. They consult with special health care,, write referrals, read and compile the written feedback from special health care, organise rehabilitation matters with the insurance company and maintain contact with your employee and, with their permission, also with your workplace. The occupational health physician assesses how your employee’s state of health affects their work ability and how it can be supported. The physician also collaborates with your workplace’s pension and accident insurance companies in matters involving individual employees and the whole workplace.

The many occupational health professionals

Your occupational health partner assigns you a multiprofessional team. This guarantees you the best specialists to assess and develop your workplace’s health and safety. Your workplace’s needs, work load factors, risks, absences due to illness and their causes determine which professionals you will need in addition to the occupational health physician and nurse.

Your occupational health team includes, among others:

  • an occupational health physician  
  • an occupational health nurse  
  • an occupational physiotherapist  
  • an occupational health psychologist  
  • and a specialist in social services​.

A social services specialist is involved when looking into various support and rehabilitation forms for coping at work and returning to work. This multiprofessional occupational health team will be complemented by other professionals as required, such as specialists in occupational hygiene, ergonomics, agriculture, occupational sight, nutrition, speech and language therapy, technology and physical activity. 

Kela’s reimbursement for occupational health service costs

Kela reimburses part of the costs that you incur for occupational health services. Claim the reimbursement for each financial year after the fact. File the claim when you have received a summary and an itemisation of the costs from the occupational health services after your financial year has ended. The procedure for claiming reimbursement is the same regardless of whether your company is invoiced based on monthly use or whether you have agreed on a fixed monthly payment with your occupational health service provider.

The reimbursements you will receive depend on the category Kela has classified them into. There are three categories.

Reimbursement category I

Reimbursement category I applies to statutory occupational health services. It includes costs that you incur for activities that maintain your employees’ work ability and other preventive measures, such as workplace surveys, health examinations or advice and guidance. Kela’s reimbursement rate for these costs is a maximum of 60 per cent.

Reimbursement category II

Reimbursement category II applies to voluntary occupational health services, i.e. medical care. It includes costs that you incur when providing general practitioner level medical care and other health care. Kela’s reimbursement rate for these costs is 50 per cent.

Reimbursement category III

Reimbursement category II applies to, for example, coaching for supervisors, training and well-being campaigns. These costs are not reimbursed by Kela. That is why this category is also called the reimbursement category 0.

Kela annually determines a maximum reimbursement amount, which is the highest amount of reimbursement you can receive even if your costs are higher.

Occupational health services are financed, in addition to the contributions collected directly from you and other employers, also by mandatory insurance contributions based on earnings collected from employees and employers. Contrary to common belief, occupational health service reimbursements are not financed with tax revenues.

Despite an increased cost level, occupational health services cannot be criticised for being too costly. Occupational health services only account for just over four per cent of Finland’s total health care expenditure, although it covers a third of the population.

Rehabilitation collaboration

The occupational health services assess an employee’s need for rehabilitation and co-ordinate the rehabilitation process. As an employer or representative of the employer it is your duty to support the rehabilitation collaboration with your own actions. Be interested and active and promote arrangements that support work ability at your workplace.

Read more about rehabilitation