Increasing life expectancy and decreasing fertility have led to a shift in the workforce age structure towards older age groups. Deteriorating health and reduced work capacity are among the challenges to retaining older workers in the labour force.
To examine whether workplace interventions to facilitate work among employees with health problems or reduced work capacity affect disability rates among employees aged 50 years and older.
Data from a survey of Norwegian companies (n = 713) were linked with registry data on their employees aged 50-61 years (n = 30771). By means of a difference-in-differences approach, we compared change in likelihood of receiving a full disability pension among employees in companies with and without workplace interventions.
Employees in companies reporting to have workplace interventions in 2005 had a higher risk of receiving full disability pension during the period 2001-03 compared with employees in companies without such interventions [odds ratio (OR) 1.25, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.07-1.45]. During the period 2005-07, there was an overall reduction in disability rates (OR 0.83, 95% CI 0.71-0.96) in both the intervention and control group. However, employees in companies reporting to have interventions in 2005 experienced an additional reduction in an employee's likelihood of receiving a full disability pension (OR 0.80, 95% CI 0.64-0.99) compared with employees in companies without interventions.
Interventions to facilitate work among employees with health problems or reduced work capacity have reduced disability rates among employees aged 50-61. This suggests that companies' preventive interventions are an effective means to retain older workers with deteriorating health.
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