Aims: In many countries, people with chronic health conditions have a weaker attachment to the labour market and fewer chances of re-employment. Much of the existing literature estimates the importance of institutional factors at the level of the municipality of residence or employer accommodation at the company level individually. This study examined the two levels simultaneously to disentangle the separate effects of municipal-level and of company-level factors. Methods: Using full population data from Denmark, we estimated cross-classified multilevel models for people newly diagnosed with chronic conditions in 2010–2013 (more than 60,000 individuals in 20,000 companies). We tracked their employment outcomes for up to 5 years after diagnosis. Results: The findings suggest that, in the short term, factors at the company level explain differences in the employment levels of individuals with chronic conditions more than institutional factors at the municipal level. A combination of average wage, company-level seniority, company size, and industry seem to explain much of company-level influence. In the longer term, the importance of company-level factors seemed to decline. Company-level factors explained blue collar workers’ employment rates better than those of white collar workers, which is in line with the notion that blue collar workers expend more physical effort in their work so that they may be more reliant on company accommodation than white collar workers in the case of chronic conditions. Conclusions: Company-level factors affected the employment of persons newly diagnosed with chronic health conditions in the short term (in particular among workers in blue collar jobs), while municipal-level factors did not.
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Publiceret iScandinavian Journal of Public Health