A healthy organization through professional absenteeism guidance


Corporate Health Solutions by MedWork understands the importance of satisfied and healthy employees. Absenteeism is not only a huge cost item for organizations, it also says a lot about the working conditions , the satisfaction among fellow workers and the safety in the work place. For corporations on Bonaire there is still a lot to be gained   in these areas according to the general manager, Tristan Monzón . Literally as well as figuratively.

Caribbean health and safety team
Corporate Health Solutions originated from the parent company Medwork Caribbean which opened its doors on Aruba ten years ago. Corporate Health Solutions focuses specifically on the BES islands ; Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba.  In the meantime there is also a third partner in the

Caribbean ‘’health and safety team”
Medwork Sint Maarten. A new office was recently opened on the Windward island . Tristan Monzón is the general manager of Corporate Health Solutions at Medwork. The health and safety – and HR professional works from his office at Kaya Nikiboko Sùit from where he leads a team of advisors in the field of occupational medicine, health and  safety and staff & organization.

Although Corporate Health Solutions by Medwork is engaged with occupational safety, occupational circumstances and employability of fellow workers, the company is not a formal health and safety  service. A health and safety service, as is usual in the European Netherlands, does not exist in the Caribbean part of the Realm according to him. Employers do have to comply with the existing law and regulations around for example office hours, safety and they are obliged to take action in case of  absenteeism.  Monzón and his team can advise and intervene in such cases.

Insight into absenteeism
Corporate Health Solutions by Medwork can help to minimize absenteeism in different ways. It always starts by charting the actual situation. It regularly happens that employers do not have a  good idea  what  their organization stands for in terms of  absenteeism . Knowledge and transparency within the organization in the field of this absenteeism is however of great importance to lower the percentage of absenteeism according to Monzón. For companies working with Corporate Health Solutions by Medwork everyone within the organization gets an insight into the absenteeism figures. Updates are regularly given to all fellow workers. The employer may log in on a digital portal at any time to view the absenteeism files. Insight creates more awareness and motivates further progress.

Business care
Moreover executives and HR – advisors within the organization are trained how to deal with absenteeism. According to Monzón executives sometimes disregard their own role. The way one deals with (threatening ) absenteeism is crucial. In the first place it is important for employees to feel appreciated and taken seriously. When there is a situation of distrust towards an employee who calls in sick regularly, it is good to name this and to discuss it. Monzón calls it “business care “.”You respect and appreciate your employees, but we also understand that you must be able to keep your company running “.

“Releasing an external organization on your company without coming in action yourself or without participating in the policy process will not lead to a positive working environment and sustainable change”

Sustainable  solutions
Corporate Health Solutions by MedWork is also talking to executives and fellow workers in order to map how the working circumstances may be improved and how one can get more satisfaction and pleasure out of the work. Some attention points may lead directly to simple and effective adaptations. In other fields the professionals of Corporate Health Solutions guide the organization in the direction of solutions and changes in the long- term.

Sometimes absenteeism has nothing to do with being sick, according to the experienced advisor.  There may be talk of harassment, a lack of motivation or stress. So the intervention by Corporate Health Solutions by MedWork is not always medical in nature. Even when there is talk of physical complaints, just a medical treatment is often not enough to solve the problems. A sustainable solution for employer and employee asks for understanding and treatment of the causes of the complaints. Employees in companies that work with Corporate Health Solutions by MedWork may go indefinitely to a trusted person and much use is made of this. Corporate Health Solutions by MedWork also offers conflict mediation or employment law support. “The employer who chooses for conflict mediation is a good employer”,according to Monzón. An employer who dares to start the conversation, wants to become wiser and wants to develop his or her organization further.

New legislation
At the moment the incentive to keep people at work is low on Bonaire according to Monzón. In the current regulations in the Caribbean Netherlands it has been laid down that the government repays a large part of the wage costs of an employee who is sick, to the employer. Furthermore there are few possibilities for re-integration or for the deployment of people who are partially unfit for work. The loss of labor this causes, is a big problem for employers, for the employee who is at home (unnecessarily) and for society as a whole.

The current law and the process surrounding the provision of wage loss from Social Affairs and Employment (SZW) is up to improvement and change .For employers it is important to keep an eye on these developments because they can be decisive in how to deal with absenteeism. The employer may already take preventive action by promoting optimal circumstances.

Corporate Health Solutions by MedWork works closely with the government and is consulted as an expert partner in the field of safety and health. Where the local department of SZW executes law- and legislation, such as determining whether someone is incapacitated for work and payment of wage loss, Corporate Health Solutions by MedWork regularly supports this assessment process by regularly providing the insurance doctor of SZW with more extensive or additional advice.

According to Monzón it is also good for employers to know that per January 1 2019 the illness letters from the General Practitioner (Incapacitated statements from the G.P. with regard to the first two sick days from work) will no longer be reimbursed by ZVK. General Practitioners are expected to repel this activity. Their professional guidelines also prescribe a separation between treatment of illnesses and their assessment of Being Incapacitated. Conform the own guidelines the General Practitioner may not and is not allowed to make statements about Being Incapacitated. Conform the Dutch guidelines, this is reserved for the company doctor.

By no longer reimbursing this proper task it might lead to the fact that the bond of trust that the General Practitioner has with his patient, remains guaranteed. The G.P. may then continue his treatment of patients undisturbed. 

Since 2010 Corporate Health Solutions by MedWork carries out sickness absence assessments for private and government organizations.  This change offers organizations the opportunity to have  absence monitoring  by work and health specialists take place and to strengthen the sick leave policy.

Customization for every company

The role which Corporate Health Solution by MedWork fulfills, differs  from on company to company and depends among other things on the time and investment  the employer can and wants to afford. “ By releasing an external organization on your company without coming in action yourself or by participating in the policy process   will not lead to a positive working environment and sustainable change.” explains Monzón. Together with the employer the strategy is set up and implemented. The experienced HR- professionals and company doctors within the organization like to think along about what is realistic within the company.

For more information or an overview of all services and products offered by Corporate Health Solutions by MedWork please contact Tristan Monzón via infobes@medwork.aw or + 599 717 1820 or go to www.medwork.aw

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