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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


Hergesell, Jannis (2021): “Und dann verzichte ich lieber auf den chronisch Kranken…“ Stay at- und Return to Work in der betrieblichen Praxis ["And then I'd rather do without the one who is chronically ill..." Stay-at-work and return-to-work in corporate practice]. In: 2021/5: 180-184.

Hergesell, Jannis/Akremi, Leila (Gastherausgeberschaft) (2021): Arbeitsmarktintegration im Alltag [Labor market integration in everyday life]. Zeitschrift für Sozialer Fortschritt 70(3).

Hergesell, Jannis/Albrecht, Jana (2021): Integration als betriebliche Routine. Organisationssoziologische Perspektiven auf alltägliche Integrationsprozesse [Integration as a corporate routine. Organizational Sociological Perspectives on Everyday Integration Processes.] In: Sozialer Fortschritt 70(3), S. 111-129

Hergesell, Jannis (2020): Emotionale Involvierung von Vorgesetzten als Risiko für (Wieder)Eingliederungsprozesse [Emotional involvement of superiors as a risk for (re)integration processes]. In: Diskussionsforum Rehabilitations- und Teilhaberecht, Beitrag D24-2020.

Hergesell, Jannis/Baur, Nina (2020): Anforderungen von Arbeitgebern an die Arbeitsmarktintegration von (teilweise) erwerbsgeminderten Arbeitnehmer*innen (Employers' requirements for the labour market integration of employees with (partially) reduced earning capacity). In: Deutsche Rentenversicherung (Hrsg.): 29. Rehabilitationswissenschaftliches Kolloquium Deutscher Kongress für Rehabilitationsforschung. Prävention und Rehabilitation – der Betrieb als Partner. Berlin, S. 290-292.

Hergesell, Jannis/Baur, Nina (2019): Hindernisse und Potentiale für die Berufstätigkeit bei teilweiser Erwerbsminderung. Eine Typologie der Arbeitsbeziehungen zwischen Arbeitgebern und gesundheitlich beeinträchtigten Personen (ERMTYP) – Projektbeschreibung (Barriers and Potentials for employment in case of partial reduction in earning capacity. A typology of working relationships between employers and persons with health impairments (ERMTYP) - Project description); gefördert von der Deutschen Rentenversicherung Bund, Laufzeit 2019-2023, Berlin 2019.

Hergesell, Jannis (2019): Forschungsstand Erwerbsminderungsrente. Eine qualitative Metaanalyse. In: Zeitschrift der Deutschen Rentenversicherung. (State of research on reduced earnings capacity pension. A qualitative meta-analysis.) In: Deutsche Rentenversicherung 2/2019, S. 150-171


03/2021 „Herausforderungen der Mitarbeiterführung während betrieblicher Return-to-Work-Prozesse [leadership challenges during return-to-work processes]“, Vortrag mit Baur, Nina/Uloth, Vanessa/Fauth, Peter, (digitales) 20. Rehabilitationswissenschaftliches Kolloquium.

03/2021 „Betriebliches Gesundheitsmanagement in Krisenzeiten. Auswirkungen der „Coronakrise“ auf Return to Work-Prozesse [Corporate health management in times of crisis. Effects of the "Corona Crisis" on Return to Work Processes]“, Gesundheitssystem der Zukunft – Zukunft der Gesundheit: alles neu nach Corona?, digitaler hybrider Dreiländerkongress 2021.

12/2020 „Zum Potential organisationssoziologischer Perspektiven auf Arbeitsmarktintegration. Ostentative und performative Aspekte betrieblicher Integrationsprozesse [On the Potential of Organizational Sociological Perspectives on Labor Market Integration. Ostentative and performative aspects of corporate integration processes]“, Vortrag mit Jana Albrecht, (digitale) Tagung „Arbeitsmarktintegration im Alltag. Inklusionsbedarf von gesundheitlich beeinträchtigten und anderen benachteiligten Arbeitnehmer*innen“, Technische Universität Berlin

01/2020 „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:

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