Reform of the Disability Pension and Flexi-job Scheme (2012)
The two-focused reform seeks to increase employment by restricting the access to disability pension and instead providing assistance to enter education through rehabilitation teams in the municipality, while ensuring that individuals with a lasting and significantly reduced working capacity enter the flexi-job scheme.
The fundamental objective of the reform of the disability pension and flexi-job scheme is to get as many people as possible into the labour market - preferably in non-subsidised employment. Access to disability pensions is restricted for persons under the age of 40, and there is an increased focus on providing citizens with the necessary assistance to enter education and employment rather than receiving a permanent disability pension.
Target demographic and reform features
The target demographic of this reform is persons with a complex set of problems, for whom social-, employment- and health-related challenges create barriers to entering the labour market, and where the lack of an interdisciplinary initiative means that they are at risk of ending up on a permanent disability pension.
The reform includes the establishment of rehabilitation teams in each of the Danish municipalities. These teams are made up of representatives from the employment sector, the health sector (municipal and regional), the social affairs sector, and the educational sector (with respect to people under the age of 30 without professional education or training). The rehabilitation team will assign people to an interdisciplinary rehabilitation programme, flexi-job, disability pension or another initiative.
As part of the reform a new scheme has been established: the interdisciplinary rehabilitation programme. The interdisciplinary rehabilitation programme consists of activities based on the recommendation from the rehabilitation team, which will include an outline of a rehabilitation plan. This will ensure that the individual is the recipient of a systemic effort and that he or she will receive relevant offers across the various sectors represented in the team. The offers must consist of education and employment opportunities. An interdisciplinary rehabilitation programme can last from 1-5 years.
The flexi-job scheme
The flexi-job scheme - for people whose ability to work in any profession is permanently and significantly reduced - is a more focused initiative, and the flexi-job grant scheme has been reorganized in order to better enable individuals who have a lasting and significantly reduced working capacity, and who currently can only work in a limited capacity (few hours), to enter the flexi-job scheme.
The reforms of the disability pension and the flexi-job schemes came into force on 1 January 2013. The municipalities are working in line with the reform and its goals. The organisational framework which underpins the reform is thus in place, and all municipalities have set up rehabilitation teams. Furthermore, there appears to be a good level of cooperation between municipalities and the regional healthcare system with regards to health assessments and counselling in support of the work of the rehabilitation teams.