ISSA Webinar: Rehabilitation and return to work policies - The need for holistic approaches

21 April 2021 | Virtual

ISSA Webinar: Rehabilitation and return to work policies - The need for holistic approaches

21 April 2021 | Virtual

Wednesday, 21 April 2021, 14:30–16:00 (UTC/GMT+2 or CEST)
Please adapt timing to your time zone

Languages: Simultaneous interpretation in English, French and Spanish (Simultaneous interpretation available using the Zoom App only)

Rehabilitation – understood as “a set of interventions designed to optimize functioning and reduce disability in individuals with health conditions in interaction with their environment” (World Health Organization – WHO) – plays an important role in the care and recovery of people.

Furthermore, the ageing of the workforce, combined with the stagnation of healthy life years and the prevalence of long-standing illness in older age groups, compels workplaces and national social security systems to improve the management of sickness absence and adapt work to chronic conditions and mild disabilities.

The evolution of the narrative on rehabilitation/return to work and the recommendations of international organisations, such as the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and the ISSA, have highlighted the need for holistic approaches to return to work, individualised interventions and improved cooperation of the different actors.

This webinar will address the rehabilitation matters from a holistic perspective, exploring links with occupational rehabilitation, based on the experiences of ISSA members and international organisations.

Join us for this ISSA Webinar on rehabilitation, the second of a series of webinars on various aspects of this major challenge related to the ISSA’s four triennial topical priorities


Alarcos Cieza Alarcos Cieza, Unit Head, Sensory Functions, Disability and Rehabilitation, World Health Organization (WHO)
François Perl François Perl, Director of public affairs, studies and advocacy, National Union of Socialist Mutual Benefit Societies (Solidaris), Belgium and Chair of the ISSA Special Working Group on Rehabilitation
Philip Germain Philip Germain, Chief Executive Officer, Saskatchewan Workers’ Compensation Board, Canada
Saskia Decuman Saskia Decuman, Research and Development Advisor, Benefits Department, National Institute for Health and Disability Insurance (NIHDI), Belgium

This webinar will examine the following questions:

  • What are the main steps towards strengthening rehabilitation in health systems and improve inter-sectoral collaboration?
  • How to enable more people to access appropriate, timely, affordable and high-quality rehabilitation interventions?
  • How to maintain the sustainability of social security systems and reduce the economic impact of sickness absence and mismanaged return to work leading to unemployment, disability pensions or early retirement?
  • How to enhance collaboration at international level to address the barriers and support the development of effective and efficient rehabilitation programmes?
  • How to exploit the opportunities post-COVID-19?


  • Welcome by Marcelo Abi-Ramia Caetano, ISSA Secretary General
  • Technical introduction by the Chair of the ISSA Special Working Group on Rehabilitation
  • Rehabilitation addressed by WHO
  • Country experience of Canada
  • Country experience of Belgium
  • Q&A – Panel discussion
  • Conclusions
Dominique La Salle Moderated by Dominique La Salle, Director, Social Security Development, ISSA

Practical information

The webinar is open to delegates of ISSA member organizations and invited institutions without registration fee.