How disability or illness can affect employment

When you live your daily life with a disability or illness, you might need changes or special arrangements to accommodate your work. The TE Office helps you find information on finding employment options and keeping your job despite a disability or illness.

Contact the TE Office if you’re wondering:

  • What kind of work or education would suit me?
  • Can I continue in my job or should I consider changing careers?
  • Where can I get appropriate rehabilitation?

A disability or illness often does not affect finding work or choosing a career. However, it can sometimes reduce your possibilities for 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.

A disability or illness can reduce your ability to work or function, but it does not make you unfit to work. Your possibilities on the labour market are improved by

  • a correctly chosen job
  • tailored work tasks and environment
  • sufficient competence
  • support from the TE office for the job search

An employer can get support for changes at the workplace

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

Before you sign an employment contract, talk to an expert at the TE Office to see if your employer can receive support for arranging working conditions to accommodate you. If you already have a job, it is a good idea to discuss these need for changes with occupational health services.

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. Support for arrangements in conditions at work can also help keep those who have jobs to stay at work. The employer applies for the subsidy.

Establish your state of health and your own needs

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 have a job, you have occupational health care through your employer
  • If you are studying, you have access to student health care
  • If you are unemployed, you can apply for a special medical examination for the unemployed organised by your municipality

The TE office is responsible for coordinating the assessment of the capability to work and function. The TE office can, if necessary, refer you to your municipal health services.

Municipal health counselling and medical check-ups must support an unemployed person's ability to work and function, prevent illnesses, and promote mental health and coping. If necessary, people need to be referred to treatment, or to pharmaceutical, vocational, or social rehabilitation.

The ability of the unemployed to work and function must be evaluated at different stages of unemployment in primary health care and, if necessary, in specialised care.

Rehabilitation improves your possibilities at work

A special need for service caused by a disability or illness can be taken into consideration in all public employment services. In addition to TE services, you might also need other types of support to enter the job market, stay employed or find a job.

Traffic and accident insurance institutions, work pension companies, and the Social Insurance Institution of Finland organise legally mandated professional rehabilitation. To access the service, certain requirements need to be met. The institutions also provide an income for the time that they arrange or replace professional rehabilitation.

If you think you may be entitled to occupational rehabilitation it is important to ascertain the institution responsible for it. If you have a job, get in touch with your occupational health service. You can also speak with your doctor about possibilities for rehabilitation. Your local TE office can also help you find more information about rehabilitation options.

Certificate for job applicants with partial work ability.

As a TE office client, you can request a certificate from the TE office for a large employer to prove that you have been registered at the TE office as a jobseeker with partial work ability. The employee must submit the certificate to the employer themselves.

If a person with partial work ability becomes disabled during the first five years of employment, the disability pension does not affect the large employer's earnings-related pension contribution category. In pension matters, the size of the employer is determined by the actual total amount of wages and salaries. For a large employer, the total amount of wages and salaries annually is approximately EUR 2 million a year.