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Barriers and Potentials for Job Integration of Disabled Employees (ERMTYP)


The project is managed by Dr. Jannis Hergesell and Prof. Dr. Nina Baur and aims at investigating barriers and potentials for employing persons with impaired health. The project will develop a theoretical model which grasps factors that hinder and promote labour market integration in Germany of people whose earning capacity is (partially) reduced due to health impairments (both in the sense of hiring new employees and continuing of stable labour relations). In this context, we focus on employers’ needs concerning the labour relations with employees with health issues. For this purpose, the project analyses empirically, what issues employers face in everyday working life when hiring employees with health issues or continuing their work contracts.

Even though in Germany, people with (partial) reduced earning capacity are often highly qualified and numerous rehabilitation measures as well as labour market integration offers exist, people with health-related impairments (especially older people) are significantly more often unemployed than non-impaired people. In addition, the favourable situation of the German labour market and the general increase in part-time jobs (atypical employment), which are attractive to people with reduced earning capacity, should actually create ideal conditions for labour market integration.

Therefore, the causes for the high unemployment rates of people with health issues in general, and for the low number of new hires of people with reduced earning capacity in particular, cannot be caused by the general economic situation or structural conditions on the German labour market. Instead, the high unemployment rates of people with health issues must be caused by social dynamics in everyday working life. The central pre-condition for stable, long-term employment of people with reduced earning capacity is the willingness of employers to engage them. Despite of the importance of employers in integrating employees with health impairment into the labour market, little is known about how employers believe a successful working relationship with people with reduced earning should be arranged.

For this reason, we focus on employers’ perspective. We additionally include other relevant actors into the social environment (such as colleagues, integration officers, company doctors, etc.) into our analysis in order to take social interactions in everyday working life and their relevance for labour market integration into account.

Our research project is designed as an explorative, qualitative interview study. Using a most different cases design, two economic sector particularly affected by labour shortages were purposefully sampled: the car industry and the care sector. These sectors structurally differ concerning various dimensions (e.g. work cultures, work organization, health risks, integration potentials) and therefore, by means of systematic comparison, allow for determining a wide range of obstacles against labour market integration.

Findings will be condensed into a typology of labour relations of persons with reduced earning capacity, which will provide a basis for policy recommendations on labour market integration.

Funding Period



Dr. Jannis Hergesell

Email: jannis.hergesell@tu-berlin.de

Phone: +49 (0)30/ 314 73308

Room: FH 811


„Integration zwischen Arbeitsalltag und betrieblicher Organisation. Methodologische Herausforderungen bei der Untersuchung von Integrationsroutinen (Integration between everyday working life and company organisation. Methodological Challenges in the Investigation of Integration Routines)", Vortrag mit Jana Albrecht, Forschungskolloquium des Arbeitsbereiches ‚Mikrosoziologie‘, Otto-von-Guericke-Universität Magdeburg


02.–04.12.2020, Online-Conference “Arbeitsmarktintegration im Alltag. Inklusionsbedarf von gesundheitlich beeinträchtigten und anderen benachteiligten ArbeitnehmerInnen” (Conference “Labour market integration in everyday life. Inclusion needs of health impaired and other disadvantaged workers”), Technische Universität Berlin, Department for Sociology:

Call for Papers

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