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Method of Building your Programs for Light Duty and Return to Work
If an employee is away from workplace due to whatever reason, it is good to bring them back as this will benefit both the employer and the employee, whereby the employer will benefit by limiting the cost due to decreased productivity while the employee benefits by returning to normal situation and will be able to meet their financial and job security needs. Return to work mostly includes light duty, which is work responsibilities that are different from the regular duties undertaken by the employee and you need a clear return to work and light duty policy to navigate the above requirements.
The most common return to work programs elements include the steps to follow after an injury, procedures followed while communicating with the health providers, schedule of monitoring the needs and progress of the worker while away, light duty positions, handouts about the process, policies, procedures and review of the whole return to work program schedule.
Some of the people the injured employee will interact with, including health care providers, human resource personnel, and insurance companies may not have the return to work interest of the employee and employer in mind and this policy will assist in getting the employee to normalcy which may bring faster recovery and reduce the cost of absenteeism, training of new worker and reduced productivity for the employer making it a chance worth taking for the employer.
It is essential to inform the employees how their medical cover may be lost, how they may have a cut or lose their wages, the necessity of informing the employer on the recovery progress and ability to get back to work, lasting period of light duty tasks, and that light duty and return to work programs are not new employment contracts. At this stage on the side of the employer, they should find a person to fill in as the manager of the return to work and light duty program, who need to possess a strong understanding of the FMLA, ADA, short and long term disability coverage by the organization and the law on compensation of workers.
It is necessary for the employers to tell the employees the benefits they will gain or the losses they will avoid when they participate in the program, roll out job descriptions that meet the ADA requirements of people who have undergone physical body changes, table the discussions about the program often during the often safety policy discussions even before the injury has occurred, give employees forms to accept the program which is mandatory because rejecting would be like turning down the job, inform the employees on how prepared they should be and review the job description to find the essential services that will be filtered and included in the return to work and light duty program.

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