Healthy Working: tackling long-term absenteeism

Tuesday, October 27, 2020
10:30 to 12:00

Member price


AmCham Belgium is happy to host our second Year of Healthcare event!

For this Year of Healthcare online session we are looking at physical health and workplace wellbeing. The questions we will be tackling consider the factors of overall employee health and how it may take its toll on absenteeism. Furthermore, we will be looking at how a company can react to prevent further absenteeism and restore a healthy working environment.

  • How do you keep your teams happy and motivated and how can we avoid a tsunami of burnouts once the various COVID-19 waves are over (or while they last)?
  • Which factors impact long term absenteeism?
  • What costs does absenteeism generate for your company?
  • And even more importantly, what works and what does not when tackling absenteeism?



10:30 a.m. – Introduction by Olivia Natens, Country Director BeNeLux at Medtronic and Chair of AmCham Belgium’s Innovative Healthcare Committee.

10:40 a.m. – Keynote by Cédric Velghe (Vigor Unit – University of Ghent spin-off) – Presentation of the study ‘Cost of Absenteeism’
Cédric Velghe and his Vigor Unit will bring us their conclusions on recent scientific research. They also compared their theoretical findings with the feedback received from 1000 Belgian employees in a survey held on absenteeism in June 2020.

11:20 a.m. – Ellen De Vleeschouwer (General Manager, AG Health Partner) - 'Preventing absenteeism: workplace wellbeing as a practical solution' 
Additional insights on the previous study by focusing on wellbeing and zooming in on some practical solutions of preventing absenteeism.

11:35 a.m. – Bram Smolenaers (Head of Market & Product Development Health Care, AG Employee Benefits - 'What if it does go wrong? The added value of Return To Work programs'
Additional insights on the previous study by offering perspectives to successfully return to work.

11:50 a.m. – Closing remarks by David Webber (Senior Partner, Odgers Berndtson and Chair of AmCham Belgium’s Human Capital and Talent Committee)

12:00 – End

*By registering for this event hosted by AG on October 27, 2020 you give AG Employee Benefits and AG Health Partner your permission to use your data for the event. Your personal data will not be passed on to third parties and will be processed in accordance with the Privacy Policy of AG Employee Benefits and the Privacy Policy of AG Health Partner.


  • Ellen De Vleeschouwer

    Ellen De Vleeschouwer (AG Health Partner)

    Ellen De Vleeschouwer is a master in Organizational Psychology and has topped off her educational career at the Vlerick Business School with a master in General Management. During her career at AG Insurance, she focused on the strategic product and market development of all Health Care Products and was responsible for the creation and launch of the return-to-work programme as part of the revised disability insurance. After 10 years she decided to dedicate herself to the launch of a new innovative preventive approach oriented towards businesses. Today she is the General Manager of AG Health Partner, a company that supports employers in encouraging their staff members to actively improve their well-being and therefore have a long-term impact on their professional as well as personal life.

  • Bram Smolenaers (AG Employee Benefits)

    Bram Smolenaers (AG Employee Benefits)

    Bram Smolenaers is Head of Market & Product Development Health Care at AG Employee Benefits & Health Care. He has over 15 years of Employee Benefits experience, starting his career at the ING Employee Benefits Global Network and focusing on Expatriate Health Care with Vanbreda International / Cigna for the next 10 years. Within AG Bram focuses on strategic development and growth of the AG EB Health Care products, thereby stimulating internal and external cross-pollination and prototyping innovation initiatives. He also represents AG Employee Benefits and Health Care at the AmCham Innovative Healthcare Committee

  • Cédric Velghe (Vigor Unit)

    Cédric Velghe (Vigor Unit)

    Cédric Velghe sees bridging the gap between science and HR practice as his personal mission. As a researcher under the promotership of Prof Dr Frederik Anseel, he shared scientific knowledge and carried out applied research on the human side of innovation and entrepreneurship, while also actively promoting evidence-based HR in general. In 2015, Frederik and Cédric jointly set up The VIGOR Unit, a UGent spin-off that supports organisations in making evidence-based HR decisions.

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    Olivia Natens

    Olivia Natens has been at the head of Medtronic in Belgium and Luxembourg since 2015. In May last year, Olivia also became responsible for the Dutch sales office, making her Country Director for the entire Benelux. Prior to that, Olivia led the Advanced Surgical Technologies team for the Benelux at Covidien, as Business Unit Director. Previous employers include Novo Nordisk and UCB Pharma, where she was responsible for market development, product development, pricing, sales and marketing strategies. Olivia holds a Master’s Degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Leuven (Belgium).

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    David Webber

    David Webber is Chair of the Human Capital & Talent Committee at the American Chamber of Commerce in Belgium – a position he has held since 2017. The Committee brings together both US and international corporates as well as lawyers, recruiters and other service providers to address the key challenges of the labor market in Belgium. He is currently a senior partner in Odgers Berndtson, a leading global executive search firm, where he has helped clients place leaders (CEOs, Director Generals, CFOs, Partners and Board members) as well as government and communication directors in corporates, trade associations, not-for-profits, consultancies and international organizations both in Brussels and internationally.