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.
While on RTW, an injured worker is:
- less likely to fall into depression
- less likely to feel alone and helpless
- RTW protects worker benefits, and maintains the worker’s CPP and EI.
RTW programs result in financial benefits to employers through maintaining and cross-training staff, and lowering WCB premium costs. WorkSafe has an effective RTW training 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.