In this arrangement, for the period, your payment would be 75 work hours + 65 hours at half pay; meaning a total payment of 107.5 hours paid out of 140 hours. This means a total of 32.5 hours will not be paid.
A Formalized Return-to-Work Programme
Although undesirable, workplace injuries, illnesses, and accidents are a reality for many employees and their respective employers. Notwithstanding the fact that preventing injuries is the best way to protect employees and to control their compensation costs. However, employers and workers need a way to manage injuries or illnesses if they do occur.
According to The International Social Security Association (ISSA), workplace-based return-to-work programmes are generally created to ensure workplace attachment for a person whose continued employment is jeopardized due to a disabling occupational or non-occupational injury or health condition.
A return-to-work programme is not only about your return to work, but also ensuring that you have access to prompt and proper (medical) care from the very beginning of the recovery process. Hence, a formal return-to-work programme facilitates the development and implementation of an individualized plan immediately after the occurrence of injury/illness. It is customarily based on a return-to-work interview and meeting.
In an attempt to aid the employee to ease their transition back to work, some companies include a return-to-work supplement as part of their return-to-work programme. This is a form of financial aid for workers who suffered a disproportionate loss of income as a result of their on-the-job injury or illness. The return-to-work supplement is an exemplary component of a formal return-to-work programme.
A well structured return-to-work programme can be instrumental in preventing employees not returning to work after short term disability.
Return-to-work Plan and Process
The return-to-work plan and process are based on the idea of partnership between all the parties involved, and a shared commitment to the goal of returning either new parents or injured/ill workers to employment.
Having a concrete return-to-work plan and process ensures that all parties involved participate in a framework encouraging reflections on expectations and possible challenges.
Some companies choose to enforce return to work coordinator training, so as to have in-house specialists that can manage employees returning to work. Having someone exclusively handle this issue, assures an optimum process, which is more desirable than deploying a standard HR professional (who will already have other tasks to fulfill with a higher degree of urgency).
A return to work plan will:
- Have an inventory of the case details (plus any alterations to the compensation scheme).
- List the stakeholders involved.
- Set a concrete goal.
- List the actions and activities required to meet the goal.
- Set a timeline for meeting the goal, as well as a daily schedule.
- List any job modifications (schedule, tasks, workplace set-up).
- List healthcare considerations if applicable.
- Set-up evaluation dates for reviewing the process and the progress.
Getting Back-to-work Plan: What You Need to Do
As mentioned earlier, your work plays an integral role in your recovery coupled with the psychological support from your therapist, friends, family, and colleagues.
In reality, your return can be overwhelming because you have been away for some considerable period, hence you must engage your healthcare provider and discuss your plan to return to the office and your concern about returning to work.
Getting a back-to-work plan entails some ideal strategies that can help you manage your return to work:
Step 1: Discuss with your employer
You must talk to your employer about the useful training you might need to enhance your effectiveness upon your return to the office. Your manager plays a vital role in your return to work. You must maintain an open and honest approach in your discussion with him.
Step 2: Seek the required assistance
In the discussion with your manager, you can solicit help that can be rendered to you such as workplace accommodation. Also, discuss other issues that could enhance your efficiency. While discussing with your manager, leverage the opportunity to reaffirm your commitment to the organization and reinforce your skills and abilities to him.
Step 3: Take an inventory of the right support system
Again, you need to develop support resources by taking an inventory of your existing support system. This will include your employee assistance program, your representative at work, family, friends, and community.
Step 4: Inform your company about your plan to return to work
Inform them about your plan to return to the office and let them know how they will be of assistance to you. Also, another factor that can ease your return to office plan is getting regular daily exercise and maintaining a healthy diet to aid your recovery process. Establishing a healthy sleeping routine is also a vital return to the work action plan.
Back-to-work Programme Checklist
If you are thinking about returning to work, and you are feeling confused or overwhelmed about what is expected from you next, we have compiled a checklist of things to consider, so you can be ready for your return-to-work meeting:
- Reach out to your healthcare provider and seek their clearance and further recommendations.
- Check your team’s and company’s communication channels so as to be fully updated with the latest happening and updates and regain work engagement.
- Do a self-awareness exercise and jot down the details of your current condition and how it could impact your work. Think especially about any challenges preventing you from successfully performing work duties.
- Once you are updated with the progress that the team has achieved in your absence, consider whether any new opportunities could be present for you.
- Focus on realizing whether you have reconsidered at all your career path and priorities.
- When it comes to workload, will you be able to fully resume work as it was prior to the absence (in terms of both schedule and responsibilities)?
- Consider whether you will require a phased return to work strategy to facilitate your transition.
- Consider drafting a return to work letter to your line manager and/or return to work coordinator formally informing them of your intentions to resume work.
You can download a return-to-work letter template below: