Reintegration of long-term sick: new scheme

On 1 October 2022, a new regulation on the reintegration of the long-term sick came into force. 

The most notable change is the possibility given to labour doctors to contact the employee concerned as early as after four weeks. Until now, work doctors had to wait until the long-term sick employee contacted himself or was referred by the employer. However, they could only do so after four months at the earliest.  

In recent years, POBOS developed an evidence-based plan of action to facilitate resumption of work after (long-term) absence for the employee concerned, as well as for his/her supervisor and colleagues.

Would you like more information about the 'POBOS plan of action - reintegration' ? Mail us.

POBOS, strong in psychological care

Complaints, negative feelings or stress reactions as a result of a shocking event or a psychosocial problem at work or in private life can persist for days, weeks or even months. They can seriously hinder those affected in their functioning. In order to provide these people with targeted support, advice and guidance, POBOS offers a comprehensive assistance programme. By making use of welfare services offered by POBOS, companies/organisations centralize well-being of their employees and fulfill their legal obligations, for example prevention of and support in (long-term) work disability. Depending on the reason for registration, POBOS appoints a recognised psychologist/psychotherapist or an experienced social worker. The use of a national network of local social workers limits travel and reduces waiting times to a strict minimum.

A traumatic event

Assistance programme after a shocking event

  • POBOS urgency team: after an emergency call has been registered, an 'urgency psychologist' is appointed. He or she makes an appointment with the affected person(s) for psychological first aid that takes place within 3 hours (on location).
  • Crisis intervention: after registration of an emergency call, a local psychologist is appointed. He or she makes an appointment with the person(s) involved for a first intake interview that takes place within 24 hours (on location).
  • Psychotherapy (standard intervention): after registration of a call, a local psychologist is appointed. He/she makes an appointment with the person(s) involved for a first intake interview that takes place within 3 working days (in the private practice of the counsellor).

In most cases, the caller and/or the person in need of help immediately has an experienced psychologist on the line (telephone counselling). In all situations, there is a first telephone contact between the appointed local psychologist and the caller and/or person(s) in need within one hour after the registration of the request for help. A counselling cycle usually consists of maximum 3 to 5 counselling sessions. Extensions with additional conversations are possible. The 'evidence based' counselling can consist of individual sessions (face to face, telephone and/or digital counselling), group meetings (debriefing) or a combination of both.

A psychosocial problem

Assistance programme in the framework of a psychosocial problem (E.A.P.)

  • Work-related problems (stress, burn-out, reorganisation, resumption of work, COVID-19 related problems, etc.)

POBOS has developed its own underpinned approach (step-by-step plans and protocols, including the 'POBOS Burn-out Plan of Action'), which is used during the counselling cycle. This approach is based on years of experience and has proven its efficiency in practice.

In most cases, the person on call or in need of help immediately has an experienced psychologist on the phone. In all situations, there is a first telephone contact with the appointed local psychologist at the latest on the same day that the request for help is registered. He or she makes an appointment with the person(s) involved for a first counselling session that takes place within 3 working days (usually in the private practice of the counsellor).  A counselling cycle usually consists of a maximum number of sessions. Prolongation with additional sessions is possible.

  • Private problems (psycho-medical-social or financial problems, addiction, etc.)

In most cases, the caller or person in need of help has a first telephone conversation with the appointed social worker on the same day as the registration for help is registered. The social worker will make an appointment with the person(s) involved for a first conversation that takes place within 3 working days (on location).  A counselling cycle usually consists of 2 interviews. Prolongation is possible.