How to Create a Return to Work Policy

How to Create a Return to Work Policy

When an employee gets injured on (or off of) the job, it’s usually in your best interest as an employer to get them back to work as soon as possible. The longer an injured worker is on leave, the less likely they are to return to work. This in turn, costs you money. 

Creating a “Return to Work” program helps bring your employee back to the workplace while they are recovering. Not only does this benefit you as the employer, it’s also a benefit to your employee to return to work as soon as safely possible. 

Benefits to your employee:

  • They continue to earn wages.
  • They maintain their skills.
  • They are likely to return to their normal position more quickly.
  • They feel a part of the team and maintain a sense of purpose.
  • Improvement to their physical and psychological well-being.

Benefits to you, as the employer:

  • Increased productivity.
  • Less overtime you need to pay to employees who are filling in.
  • Reduced administrative costs associated with finding and training temporary employees.
  • Controlled workers’ compensation claim costs.
  • Reduced short term and long term disability costs.

return to work program

If you do not have one in place yet, we’re here to help. Here are some tips for creating your own Return to Work (RTW) program. 

  1. Create and implement a written RTW policy.
    1. Plan should apply to all employees equally.
    2. Define what will be included in the program. Will you have temporary light, limited, and modified-duty assignments? 
    3. Develop a “jobs bank” of tasks that an injured employee could perform. Consider organizing the job bank by sitting and standing tasks. Job duties to include could be administrative work, safety-related tasks, ordering and stocking supplies, shipping duties, training others, or completing professional development. 
    4. Be sure to include why returning to work is beneficial to employees. 

Need help putting this together? Here’s a template from SHRM.org you can use!

2. Create a RTW form that outlines light-duty job assignments and what is expected. Download our FREE template here!

3. Designate someone on your team to be the RTW coordinator.

4. Communicate the policy with employees.

    1. Add it to your onboarding process.
    2. Introduce the new plan to current employees and ensure they have a thorough understanding of the how’s and why’s of the program. 

We hope this helps you get a start on creating a Return to Work Program!

*PLEASE NOTE: These tips and templates are not legal advice. Please consult your attorney when putting together a Return to Work Program.

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A little more about Holley Insurance…

Holley Insurance was founded in 2000, and retains a core base of loyal clients. We have locations in Roanoke, Rocky Mount, and Forest, VA. As an independent insurance agency, Holley Insurance represents a carefully selected group of financially strong, reputable insurance companies. Therefore, we are able to offer you the best coverage at the most competitive price. Holley Insurance was named “Top Insurance Broker in Southwest Virginia” by Virginia Living Magazine for 2021. If you’re interested in starting a quote online or having us take a look at your current policies, click here!

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