Eigen regie over werkhervatting door verzuimende werknemers

Nicole Hoefsmit*, nicolle Boumans, Inge Houkes

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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Employers and return-to-work professionals consider self-direction by sick-listed employees an effective way to achieve work resumption. Yet, there is no unambiguous definition of 'self-direction by employees during sick leave'. Therefore, it is questionable whether professionals mean the same when they refer to self-direction. We argue that self-direction by sick-listed employees consists of satisfaction of their basic psychological needs. These are: autonomy involvement in decision making about their own work resumption), competence (being able to resume work), and connectedness (receiving support from their employers that matches their needs) (based on Deci & Ryan, 1985, 2000, 2008). We also argue that the Dutch Improved Gatekeeper Act provides sick-listed employees with possibilities to take self-direction in their work resumption processes. Yet, this Act does not optimally stimulate the self-direction by sick-listed employees. We base our argumentation on findings of an applied PhD research in the field of sick leave and return-to-work. Moreover, we provide advice to researchers and practice professionals who aim to support the self-direction by sick-listed employees. Finally, we reflect on applicability and feasibility of our conceptualization of self-direction.
Original languageDutch
Pages (from-to)71-85
Number of pages15
JournalGedrag & Organisatie
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2019


  • cooperation
  • intervention
  • motivation
  • return-to-work
  • self-direction
  • sick leave
  • sick-listed employees
  • sickness absence

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