Control over employability for managers

When dealing with absenteeism and employability, it’s important to consider the matter from the perspective of how someone functions as a person in the broader sense, and not just as an employee at work. Employees are affected by things that happen at work, by their private situation, and by their personality traits, knowledge, and experience.

These are also aspects that can play a role in absenteeism occurring and in reintegration coming to a standstill. It’s therefore important to look at all the factors that influence functioning and well-being. That way, you have a more comprehensive idea of the situation and also of the most appropriate action to be taken, providing a clearer picture what can and can’t be altered. It also makes it clear who plays a role where and who needs to take action.

In this way, working on remaining employable naturally becomes a matter for both the manager and the employee. After all, the question of how to remain employable, energetic, and resilient (both physically and mentally) for the long term is becoming increasingly important for employees too. When adopting this broad-perspective approach, it helps to apply the ICF model (International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health; WHO 2002).

Role of the manager in cases of absenteeism

The manager knows the employee and the situation in which he or she works. For both manager and employee, finding a way to get the latter back to work is not just a matter of talking about symptoms, treatments, and “isn’t it awful”. The effect that both of them can have involves being willing and able to discuss the non-medical aspects of employability together:

  • What work can the employee still do?
  • What needs to be done to remove any obstacles to achieving the desired situation (normal employability and functioning), quite part from the medical aspects?
  • What support or advice do we need so as to answer any questions, thus helping find a solution and remove obstacles?


  • Participants have a shared vision regarding absenteeism and employability, and they adopt a shared working method (preferably preventive, and always solution-focused). From “absenteeism is a medical problem” towards “absenteeism is an employability problem”.
  • Participants know what the possibilities are for exerting influence so as to improve employability. Using the ICF model, they can quickly identify and acknowledge non-medical problems.
  • Participants have the knowledge needed to recognise various signs of imminent absenteeism and to discuss how to prevent it with employees who are at increased risk;
  • Participants are able to conduct effective interviews about employability. 

Content of the training programme: knowledge and skills

The emphasis in the theory component is on increasing knowledge.

  • Eligibility for Permanent Incapacity Benefit (Restrictions) Act [Wet verbetering poortwachter, “WVP”];
  • Rights and obligations of various persons in the event of absenteeism (employee, HR, managers, senior management);
  • How to deal with the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (“GDPR”) (privacy);
  • Working with the ICF model;
  • Recognising signs of stress (including as regards working from home).

The programme is interactive so that we can also talk to one another about employability and so that there is enough scope for participants to ask questions and discuss situations.

In the second part of the training session , the emphasis will be on improving skills. We will be assisted by a training actor. The topics covered will be calling in sick by phone and an interview about frequent absenteeism. We will preferably work with cases proposed by participants themselves. Managers will be invited to practice conducting an interview. We will work on the basis of a solution-focused coaching interview or a solution-focused confrontational conversation. It will not be possible for every participant to conduct an interview, but we will focus on learning from and with one another.

Confidentiality will be emphasised during the training day.

Practical information

  • Duration: Two sessions, from 9.00 a.m. to 12.30 p.m.
  • Dates: 18 and 25 March 2021
  • Location: Online (if possible, offline)
  • Group size: Maximum of 8 people
  • Language: Dutch


You can register here.