Eva Nadai, Anna Gonon, Robin Hübscher & Anna John: The Social Organization of Work Incapacity. Incapacities in the Swiss Social Insurance System and in the Workplace. [Abstract]

Work capacity as a precondition for productivity is a key concern of the welfare state and the economy. Incapacity thus poses the problem of social protection for those deemed unproductive. Based on qualitative research on the employment of disabled people and low-skilled workers, this paper discusses the regulation of different kinds of work in/capacity in the Swiss welfare system and its consequences for the valorization of labor. With the example of disability insurance we show how employers engage in shaping welfare institutions, which then affect their evaluation of workers. On the firm level, social insurance and protective law, in conjunction with company forms, provide dispositives for defining in/capacity and testing the value of workers. They delimit a space for tolerating health-related incapacity and enable compromises between different quality conventions. When ill health and low skills cumulate, the existing social insurances do not offer sufficient protection.

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