Rob Gründemann is Professor Labour Participation at the Research Centre for Social Innovation of the HU University of Applied Sciences Utrecht, the Netherlands, since 2007. He studied Sociology at the University Utrecht (UU) and gained my PhD at the University of Amsterdam on the subject of work disability. He has been involved in almost 20 projects at European level. Among others in a project on new approaches to Health at Work for the European Foundation in Dublin in 1999; a project on the Employability of workers for the European Agency in Bilbao in 2000; a project on Attractive Workplaces for the European Foundation in Dublin in 2006; a project on Workplace Mental Health Promotion for DG Sanco in 2010, and recently a project about Healthy Work for Employees with Chronic Illness, also for DG Sanco. He participated in two Leonardo Livelong Learning projects: one about diversity at work (https://www.diversityatwork.net) and another about Integrated Workplace Health Age Management (https://www.ageingatwork.eu). I am the NCO for the European Network for Workplace Health Promotion in the Netherlands.
Employability of workers has always been an important theme for me in my professional activities. One of my first research projects was a longitudinal study on job, health and well-being of middle managers in the construction industry. This project showed risks for health and well-being in the work situation of lower educated older middle managers. Work- and time pressure lead to symptoms of burnout and reduced health, and in the longer term to absenteeism, disability and unemployment. Together with international colleagues I developed a European methodology for workplace health promotion, building on experiences in different EU countries (e.g. Finland with their Maintenance of Workability Program and Germany with their Health Circles). Together with a group of Dutch experts I developed a guideline on sustainable employability, managed by NEN (the Dutch Organisation for Standards). Recently this guideline has been accepted as a working item in the ISO committee on Human Resources Management. I joined the Applied Science Board Sustainable Employability Innovations to support ongoing development and implementation of tools and practices on this topic, with a special focus on the sustainable employability of lower educated workers.