Work Accident and Sickness Benefits

Olli Kangas

in The Oxford Handbook of the Welfare State

Published in print July 2010 | ISBN: 9780199579396
Published online September 2010 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Politics & International Relations

Work Accident and Sickness Benefits


This article reviews the trends in the institutional development of work accident and sickness daily allowance schemes. It mainly concentrates on Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries. It starts by outlining the history of work accident insurance, in most countries, the first social insurance programme legislated; its history highlights a number of factors behind the development of later programmes. The article then describes sickness insurance. Again, it begins with historical developments, focusing, in particular, on the universalism and generosity of benefits. It then moves on to discuss the extent to which sickness benefits have, in recent years, been targets for retrenchment. It finally tentatively reports future trajectories of these two income maintenance programmes. The evolution of work accident and sickness insurance schemes shows how insurance must be changed when the social problems for which the programme originally provided protection change in character.

Keywords: work accident insurance; sickness insurance; daily allowance; Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development; sickness benefits

Article.  5628 words. 

Subjects: Politics ; Public Policy

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