Kies de Nederlandse taal
Course module: 201800084
Challenges in work, health and well-being. An interdisciplinary approach
Course infoSchedule
Course code201800084
ECTS Credits7.5
Category / Level3 (Bachelor Advanced)
Course typeCourse
Language of instructionEnglish
Offered byFaculty of Social Sciences; Undergraduate School Sociale Wetenschappen; Interdisciplinary social and behavioural sciences;
Contact persondr. R.J.T. van Rijsselt
prof. dr. P.A.H. van Lieshout
Other courses by this lecturer
dr. R.J.T. van Rijsselt
Other courses by this lecturer
Contactperson for the course
dr. R.J.T. van Rijsselt
Other courses by this lecturer
Teaching period
2  (09/11/2020 to 05/02/2021)
Teaching period in which the course begins
Time slotC: MON-afternoon, TUE-afternoon,THU-morning
Study mode
Enrolment periodfrom 02/06/2020 up to and including 28/06/2020
Course application processOsiris
Enrolling through OSIRISYes
Enrolment open to students taking subsidiary coursesYes
Waiting listNo
  • To be able to interpret and explain developments and debates concerning work, health related issues and well-being, and the relationship between the three.
  • To be able to apply and relate theoretical approaches to work, health and well-being from an interdisciplinary and international comparative perspective.
  • To be able to report findings clearly, and in a properly organised and well-documented matter.
Social protection from work related sickness and disability is the main drive force in the development of the welfare states in Europe. In this course, we focus on three basic characteristics: work, health and well-being. From an interdisciplinary and international comparative perspective, we study the historical developments in different (European) welfare states and their different approaches in the protection from work related sickness and disability. The focus is the organizational perspective: how do companies (employers and employees) organize the complicated process of work related absence. The focus lies on the shift in Human Resource Management from protection to prevention, from sickness to health, from disability to well-being.

In the first week, we offer a basic historical overview of the differences and developments in legislation regarding work related diseases and disability in different European countries. The next six weeks are devoted to the three core concepts: work, health and well-being. First, we study the meaning of work, the main changes in the nature and content of work and its relation to health and work related diseases over time (e.g. burn-out). Second, we offer insighs in social and psychological processes of the interaction between employer and employee in health and work related absence and what practices are offered by companies (e.g. reintegration programs). Third, we focus on the prevention perspective of sustainable employability: how do employers and employees safeguard sustainable employability and well-being, with a focus on endangered groups such as flex-workers and elderly workers. The final week we present our findings of the selected European countries.

The analysis is supported by the elaboration of cases and actual discussions in the field. Furthermore, three movies/documentaries are shown and discussed to illustrate the social importance and the implications of the interrelationship betweeen work, health and well-being.