Return to Work Strategies
• Job offers should always be made in writing and should thoroughly describe the offered position to ensure the hire is fit for all duties.
• When the job is offered, send a formal job offer package along with the offer letter. Make sure it includes all the benefits the potential employee is eligible for, including return to work policies and procedures, so there is no confusion later.
• When developing a temporary assignment for someone returning to work, find useful tasks that are not covered by other areas of the company – the goal is not to take work away from another employee.
• Create a written job description and job analysis for all transitional duty jobs. These jobs should match physical capabilities with the work that needs to be done so that they are both useful and appropriate.
• Hold employees working temporary assignments or transitional duty jobs to the same work rules as
other employees. This prevents devaluation of the job by employees and sends the message that they are still contributing to the company.
• Develop and maintain a close working relationship with medical providers. Make sure they understand your business so they can help you evaluate return to work policies, procedures and cases.
• For all employees assigned to temporary work, monitor their medical health regularly. Make sure they are doing well physically and, if they are making progress, find out from their physician if they can move forward to more demanding tasks.
• Develop and maintain a close working relationship with claims adjusters. Make sure they know your return to work program, and ask them for advice and suggestions to improve it.
• Resist the temptation to turn temporary job assignments into indirect punishment. Understand that the work is therapy for the returning employee; make sure to stay positive and keep the work meaningful.
• Consider establishing a transitional duty pay rate. It will be less than what the employee would earn working their normal job, but make sure it is consistent among all employees on transitional duty.
• For return to work program employees, stay in frequent touch from the time of the return to work offer letter until they return to full working status. You should be accessible for them to be sure their return to work is progressing smoothly.
UNICO is considered experts when it comes to lowering workers’ compensation costs for companies. Our proven outcomes come from being Certified Work Comp Advisors and our team has the resources, tools and knowledge to help your company increase its profitability. Don’t hesitate to contact us or visit our website to learn more.