Friday, May 15, 2009

OECD Urges Countries: Don't Lump Older Workers among Disabled

Addressing policy challenges for disabled workers in a time of high unemployment, the OECD co-sponsored a High-Level Forum on Sickness, Disability and Work and, in its final communique, warned against repeating the mistakes of the past where in previous economic downturns, many older workers who lost their jobs were pushed onto disability benefit rolls rather than unemployment benefit schemes.
"While this may seem a harmless short-term measure, we now know that most people who receive a disability benefit for more than a year will never work again," said John Martin, OECD Director of Employment, Labour and Social Affairs. "It is crucial that governments align short-term social protection measures taken in response to the downturn, with longer-term goals of economic security and strong labour force participation."
As one of the background papers showed, older workers dominate the disability benefit rolls.

For links to other information, see OECD's "Sickness, Disability and Work" project.

Source: High-Level Forum on Sickness, Disability and Work Final Communique (May 15, 2009)

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