chevron icon Twitter logo Facebook logo LinkedIn logo YouTube logo download icon link icon audio icon quote icon posted icon clock icon author icon arrow icon arrow icon plus icon Search icon location icon location icon document icon menu icon plus-alt

The Occupational Health Social Outcomes Contract (SOC) aims to reduce short-term sick leave and improve health outcomes for employees of two Swedish local authorities, Botkyrka and Örnsköldvik, resulting in reduced costs to employers and wider society. A 2017 study identified that the majority of short-term sick days were from a ‘risk group’ with more than three absences over a 12-month period. Short-term sick leave is costly to employers and was a particular problem within local government organisations. The SOC aims to address this by providing direct ‘Health Support’ to employees and building capacity in internal HR departments to improve longer term employee health outcomes. The SOC supports these innovative, preventative approaches, and builds organisational capacity.

This case study begins by introducing the rationale for the SOC approach in this case and outlining the key features and target outcomes of the SOC. Next, it explores the structure of the SOC – this includes the development process, resources pledged, the organisational framework and specifics of the contractual relationships between parties. It then briefly discusses some of the results so far, as well as the impact of COVID- 19.

Finally, the case study highlights some of the key insights from the Occupational Health SOC, including the non-financial motivations for pursuing social outcomes contracts, iterative approaches to outcome metric development, and the importance of building capacity in local government and other public sector organisations.