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Principle n°3 — Repair

Principle n°3 — Repair

In the circular economy

Repair is the return to function of a product, allowing it to regain a second life without the user separating from it (or after they have parted with it).

The principle applied in HRM

  • The fact of supporting the reintegration of the worker so that after a more or less long-term leave, he or she can continue to be employed in his or her original function or in a new role in the same organisation.


Repair in circular HRM can go through:

  • A Positive management of absenteeism
  • A reintegration process of the worker after a long leave (illness, accident, maternity,…)
  • The prevention and the management of stress and professional exhaustion (burn-out)
  • The prevention and the management of addictions in the workplace (alcohol, medication, drugs, energy drink, technology) in order to preserve the employment relationship

Examples of good practices observed

In terms of absenteeism, companies gain by carrying out a business case of their situation when most underestimate the importance of the problem (data collection, evaluation of direct and indirect costs,…). This then makes it possible to quantify the benefits of a proactive management to justify the investments made in the solutions. Training HR teams and managers in a positive management of absenteeism is seen as a good practice.

More and more companies – such as Laboratorio Quinton or SPB Global Corporation in Spain – are putting in place procedures aimed at the successful reintegration of their workers having been absent for a more or less long period. In Belgium, the RTBF, in a context of strong corporate transformation, has set up several support platforms, including one on support for workers returning from sickness and having been absent for six months or more. Another of these platforms concerns the support of employee dealing with stress and professional exhaustion.

NFQ Technologies (Lithuania) – does not have a formal process of reintegration, but gives managers the responsibility of accompanying each worker returning from leave and supporting their return to work. They maintain contact with the worker during their leave and the latter is kept informed of developments in the company, for example through the company’s quarterly magazine.  This important role given to the manager in the reintegration of the person who has been absent is also observed at Edukacinės Sistemos (Lithuania), which also involves direct colleagues in the process. Particular attention is paid not to leave the employee alone and to help them find back the rhythm of work.  The reintegration process is conducted here by the manager of the department to which the worker reports to with the HR expert, of course involving the person itself.

KODING Gorska (North Macedonia) — The employer communicates and collaborates with absent workers to pro-actively manage the reason for the absence, identify solutions and prepare the return at work schedule.

VO Event (Belgium) – Evolves in the event industry, particularly stressful due to the specific schedules and the intensity of the work required by the projects. A training was put in place for management in order to detect and to avoid deviant practices that could unintentionally lead to burn-out situations.

Addictions are often approached in companies under the prism of individualisation and of medicalisation. A seminar organised by HR Square in Belgium, showed that it was also important to anchor prevention in work practices in order to consider problematic behaviours also as a symptom of situations in which organisational aspects (work content, working conditions, relations at work) have the potential to induce the consumption of psycho-active substances. Thus, recognising risky behaviour can also be seen as a means to avoid or reduce other risks.


Project Coordinator

Rue Coenraets 66,
1060 Bruxelles – Belgium
+32 2 535 06 86
Salima Chitalia, Project Manager

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