Working conditions

How to respond to chronic health problems in the workplace?

Policy brief
15 October 2019
Formats and languages


The number of workers living with chronic health conditions is rising in the EU. Such conditions affect people’s ability to work to varying degrees. While some are unable to continue working, many wish to and would be able to do so if their workplace made adaptations to accommodate their needs. Maintaining labour force participation is a key issue for policymakers in the context of demographic ageing and a falling working-age population.
This policy brief examines chronic disease in EU workplaces: its prevalence, the impact on ability to work, the extent that workplaces are making adjustments for workers with chronic disease and the effect of that on job quality. It finds that most workers with a chronic disease that limits their ability to work do not benefit from workplace accommodation. It also finds that such adaptations can have a positive impact on the quality and sustainability of work.

Part of the series

  • European Working Conditions Survey 2015

    ​Eurofound’s European Working Conditions Survey (EWCS) paints a wide-ranging picture of Europe at work across countries, occupations, sectors and age groups. This series consists of findings from the 2015 EWCS. The survey was first carried out in 1991.

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