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Workers’ Compensation: Return-to-Work Program

When an employee is injured, it might appear more cost effective to have the employee remain at home to recuperate. The employer is not paying the salary and benefits, and they are not asking other employees to “help” an employee that may be limited in their physical abilities. On the other hand, it may be more costly because the work is not being done and workers’ compensation rates will be on the rise.

Many work place studies show the longer an injured employee is away from their normal job, the less likely they are to return. This results in higher claim costs from extended medical and lost wage payments. Careful consideration of modified duty assignments and a Return-to-Work program can benefit the employee by helping him or her to return to gainful employment in the shortest time and the employer by reducing the cost of a claim.

The primary goal of a Return-To-Work program is to return an injured worker as soon as possible to his or her original job as soon as possible, at either full capacity or in a temporary modified or transitional assignment.

To help with the development and implementation of your own Return-to-Work program, SafeChurch has compiled the following resources:

  • Return-To-Work Program: describes in detail the necessary elements of a successful return-to-work program
  • Policy Statement: sample policy statements that can be customized for your return-to-work program
  • Writing Job Descriptions: tool to effectively write a job description
  • Description of Employee’s Job Duties: form to describe the injured worker’s regular job duties
  • Letter to Treating Doctor: customizable letter to be sent to the treating physician
  • Return-to-Work Status Form: form to be used by the attending physician to identify what work restrictions are placed on the injured worker
  • Offer of Employment Letter: document to create an offer of employment letter once the injured worker has been released by the attending physician for modified duty

These resources can be found on Under the Resources tab, click the Employee and Volunteer Safety category.

© 2024 GuideOne Insurance. GuideOne® is the registered trademark of the GuideOne Insurance Company. All rights reserved. This material is for informational purposes only. It is not intended to give specific legal or risk management advice, nor are any suggested checklists or action plans intended to include or address all possible risk management exposures or solutions. You are encouraged to retain your own expert consultants and legal advisors in order to develop a risk management plan specific to your own activities.