Labour Market Re-Entry of People with Disabilities after Vocational Rehabilitation in Germany

Wednesday, July 16, 2014: 3:45 PM
Room: Booth 53
Oral Presentation
Nancy REIMS , Institute for Employment Research, Germany
Stefan GRUBER , Munich Center for the Economics of Aging, Germany
Angela RAUCH , Institute for Employment Research, Germany
Employment is one important aspect for societal participation as well as social well-being. Besides providing a living, employment gives access to benefit entitlements in case of unemployment or retirement, but it also provides social prestige and social recognition.

Vocational rehabilitation, as an instrument of the German social welfare state designed to support societal participation, aims at (re-)gaining employment for people with disabilities. Due to a lack of data, there is little empirical evidence on the degree and quality of labour market integration of vocational rehabilitation in Germany.

Based on a three-wave panel survey of the Institute for Employment Research on vocational rehabilitation and the life course, our research focuses on rehabilitants in the financial responsibility of the German Federal Employment Agency (FEA), who require reintegration into the labour market. These people already have several years of working experience, but cannot continue their prior occupation due to health problems and thus, mainly participate in further training, retraining and/or integrational measures. We analyse employment transitions and respective determinants for the re-entry into the labour market and the sustainability of employment using event history analyses.

Results show that two third of the population obtains (mostly unsubsidised) employment only a few months after vocational rehabilitation and on average stays employed for almost three years. The transition in employment is highly determined by structural factors, but also by the type of measure attended during vocational rehabilitation. Integrational measures, like e.g. employment subsidies, are most successful for the placement in employment. Surprisingly, the type of disability does not play an important role in labour market integration, but the subjective well-being appears to be of high significance for both the transition in and the sustainability of employment. Those who report a (very) bad health condition have significantly worse employment chances and thus, reduced chances of social well-being.