Return to Work & Disability Management
What is a return-to-work program?
A return-to-work (RTW) program is sometimes called a disability management program, Modified work program, alternate duties program or claims management program. It is a clearly developed plan to accommodate a work-related disability in the workplace, providing alternate or modified work for injured workers.
Why is return-to-work the right thing to do?
RTW helps workers when they are at their most vulnerable – when they’ve been injured or become ill. Studies have shown that workers often recover faster and have a better chance of returning to full-time employment if they return with modified work rather than recovering at home. After a six-month absence, there is only a 50% chance that an injured worker will return to the job. After one year, that chance drops to 20%, and after two years, to 10%.
RTW can also help an injured worker’s family cope with the impact of disability.
By getting a worker back to work as soon as medically safe, the physical and emotional impact for that worker, the worker’s family and other employees is reduced.
For information on the recovery and return to work process in an active claim with the Saskatchewan Workers’ Compensation Board (WCB), visit the WCB’s website.
RTW programs result in financial benefits to employers through maintaining and cross-training staff, and lowering WCB premium costs. WorkSafe has an effective RTW course. For more information on establishing a RTW program, please contact us.
We have a number of fact sheets available for you to reference while setting up your own RTW program.
To learn more about managing a workers’ injury claim, visit the WCB’s website.