Striving For Excellence (STRIVEX)

The project analyses how employers' strategies for managing sick leave and employee health have changed over the decades, and how these changes have affected workers' sick leaves and withdrawal from the labour market. Such changes may be essential to identify causal impacts of employer strategies on workers' behaviour. Furthermore, when variation in public schemes and legislation is limited, private management strategies may provide the necessary variation for identification. Finally, comparison between Norway and the UK allows us to exploit differences in welfare regimes, competitive environments and economic situation.

Aims

The primary goal of our project is to provide an understanding of how employers' strategies for managing sick leaves and employee health have changed over the decades, and how these changes have affected workers' sick leaves and withdrawal from the labour market. Our secondary objectives, which will play a part in achieving our primary objective, are analyses of: i)changing sick pay schemes and work environment, ii) the potential conflict between graded (partial) sick leaves and work structure, iii) the early retirement legislation and the relation to sick

leave and disability benefit receipt  iv)strategies for managing workers who are long-term ill or have permanently impaired health, v) the sorting of workers on health and job polarisation, and finally, vi) how social interaction at the workplace and in the neighbourhood changes over time, with respect to sickness absence and withdrawal from work.

Methods

We exploit a new detailed questionnaire survey; the Norwegian Workplace Employment  Relations Survey 2012 (NWERS2012), which when linked with two employer previous surveys(1997,2003) and added register data on individuals and organisations will give us panel information on establishments and workers over 20 years. Furthermore, we exploit the UK WERS2011 and the previous WERS-studies (1998 and 2004) containing similar questionnaire information on workplaces, as well as questionnaire information on workers. The advantage of the latter is that it can be linked to the workplace data, thus linking worker subjective wellbeing indicators to absence rates in the previous year, and to workplace policies and practices.

Timescale and outputs

The project began in late 2014 and will run until the end of 2016. The outputs will be academic papers.

Funder and partners

The research is funded by the Norwegian Research Council. 

Researchers

Harald Dale-Olsen and Erling Barth at the Norwegian Institute for Social Research

Research programmes