Return to work after long-term absence is the challenge of this century. The numbers don’t lie. Absences between 1 month and 1 year as well as absences longer than 1 year are increasing, although there are differences depending on age, function and industry.

Evolution of the amount of long-term sick employees (Belgium)

2013 320.823
2014 343.926 (+7,20%)
2015 370.731 (+7,79%)
2016 391.692 (+5,65%)

 Source: http://deredactie.be/cm/vrtnieuws/binnenland/1.2950066; based on RIZIV numbers

As a response to this trend, the Center for Resilience has developed a return to work programme under the name of Insourcing®. The programme consists of a step-by-step process supported with scientific evidence tailored to the need of the participant. Throughout the process, progress and impact are continuously monitored and evaluated. This way, we can guarantee quality AND impact.

The programme builds on the long-standing experience of Prof. Dr. Elke Van Hoof – more than 15 years of experience accompanying employees with long-term absences – and bundles her expertise consisting of clinical psychological interventions, business expertise and scientific knowledge.

Insourcing® not only facilitates return to work. We also provide a sustainable approach aimed at the individual, his environment and the work context. We always work on three levels such as indicated below, and this for the 3 domains individual – environment – work context.

Our approach ensures:

  • Timely start of the intervention: We start from the moment the employee is incapacitated. To start the process, the employee gets in contact with us. Via our partners, we can offer such a trajectory free of charge in certain cases.
  • Quality: All interventions are based on scientific evidence; the impact is continuously monitored throughout the process. This happens via an electronic patient platform (EPD). Via the EPD, progress, impact and satisfaction will be measured. The trajectory will be supervised by Prof. Dr. Elke Van Hoof. Elke is being informed as soon as there is a discrepancy in the satisfaction of the employee with the care provider. The care provider receives feedback enabling him to adapt the process completely to the needs of the employee.
  • Accessibility: The employee can start the process in his region. For this purpose, we have a network of specialised clinical psychologists and certified coaches spread across Belgium. In regions which are not covered by our network, we will travel within a 35-km radius of the employee’s residence. As soon as the employee registers via EPD, the nearest care provider will be notified. We request our care providers to contact the employee within 3 hours to plan a first appointment within 5 working days following the registration.

The whole process can be automated via an online portal where companies can register their employees. This limits administration to the absolute minimum.

  • Consistency with the legal framework (return to work, patient rights, privacy protection). At the end of 2016, secretary De Block launched a specific approach to return to work. Our programme can be regarded as complementary to the return to work approach financed by the government. In addition, we believe in a timely start and are therefore doing everything possible – together with our partners – to support the employee as quickly as possible. There are different stakeholders involved in return to work: the employee, human resources, the line manager, the advisory doctor (health insurance), the company doctor, the medical officer (insurances), the family doctor, the psychologist, the coach, etc. In short, nobody can see the forest through the trees. The professionals in our network are trained to protect confidentiality regarding the employee at all times; they know who is part of the shared confidentiality and who isn’t. We set strict conditions as far as sharing of information is concerned.
    The following rules of thumb apply:


    • Nothing is being shared without explicit consent of the employee;
    • Only explicit questions are being answered;
    • Reporting needs to contribute to continuity and/or quality of care for the employee.

Clinical psychologists as well as our coaches subscribe to the code of ethics of the Commission of Psychologists. This adherence is contractually agreed. Since 26 May 2014, psychologists have a new, revised code of ethics. The compliance to this code is legally linked to the psychologist title protection via disciplinary law. The disciplinary law is overseen by the Commission of Psychologists. We adhere to the patients’ rights and privacy laws.
Under “downloads” you can find an overview of how we deal with our confidentiality.