Partial work disability and length of working careers

This project examines factors affecting use of partial work disability benefits and the connection between the use of partial disability benefits and length of working careers, focusing on differences between the private and the public sector.
Kaksi henkilöä työpöydän äärellä.




An increasing number of people have become recipients of partial sickness allowance and partial disability pension in Finland, which is why it is important to understand the factors affecting the use of these benefits and connections with the length of working careers. Understanding the trends in the use of partial disability benefits by population group provides important background information when assessing the possibilities of the use of partial benefits to promote participation in work.

The use of partial disability benefits can facilitate returning to and staying at work and save on social security costs if partial benefits reduce the use of full benefits. However, there is no comprehensive information on the connection between partial disability benefits and the length of working careers.

The objective of the project is to provide information on the potential for partial disability benefits to prolong working careers in the private and public sector. A further objective is to provide information on the change in the profile of those using partial disability benefits and on the varying possibilities for partial benefits to be used in different labour market segments. There are system differences between employer sectors, which are likely to affect the use of partial disability benefits. We also produce information on the differences in impact by socio-demographic and work-related factors and illness groups.

Data and methods

We use statistical methods and longitudinal, nationally representative, individual-level register data in a versatile manner, and we have combined the register information with previously created job-exposure matrix data on workload factors.

Results and impact

The results of the project help us to understand how the use of partial work disability benefits is linked to the length of working careers. The results illustrate how the opportunities of those who have partial working ability to participate in work vary in the private and the public sector as well as in different employee and illness groups.

The results will help to demonstrate in which working environments — such as environments with different physical and psychosocial conditions — the use of partial disability benefits best promotes participation in work. The study will also improve our understanding of the potential of partial disability benefits to increase participation in work in people suffering from the most common illnesses causing disability, i.e. musculoskeletal diseases and mental disorders.

Our experts

Taina Leinonen

Taina Leinonen

Taina.Leinonen [at]
+358 30 474 2030


The Finnish Work Environment Fund and Keva (Public sector pensions)


Hartikainen E, Solovieva S, Viikari-Juntura E, Leinonen T. Associations of employment sector and occupational exposures with full and part-time sickness absence: random and fixed effects analyses on panel data. Scand J Work Environ Health 2022;48:148–57.

Hartikainen E, Solovieva S, Viikari-Juntura E, Leinonen T. Working life expectancy and working years lost among users of part- and full-time sickness absence in Finland. Scand J Work Environ Health, published online 2022.

Leinonen T, Viikari-Juntura E, Solovieva S. Has the share of the working life expectancy that is spent receiving a partial or full disability pension changed in Finland over the period 2005–2018? A longitudinal register-based study. BMJ Open 2022;12:e061085.

Leinonen T, Solovieva S, Blomgren J, Laaksonen M, Viikari-Juntura, E. Osatyökyvyttömyysetuuksien käyttö yksityisen ja julkisen sektorin palkansaajilla vuosina 2007–2017. Työpoliittinen aikakauskirja 4/2020:38–55.