Common questions about Return-to-Work programs
Q.“I’m reluctant to start a RTW program. What if the employee gets hurt again?"
A. Yes that is a risk. Part of the job is to manage risk. If they don’t come back and get out of the social context, there is a high probability that they will get worse. We need to determine what is the greater risk.
Q.” What should I do if the employee refuses the modified duty?”
A. The work must be meaningful and not demeaning to the employee. If the job offer is consistent with the physician’s instructions and the employee refuses, in most cases you can cut off the indemnity benefits.
Q.” Can I reduce the employee’s pay?”
A. While the short answer is “yes,” the best results come from employers who do not reduce the pay. Employee and employer should be on the same page about the expected duration of the modified duty. If it is short-term, do not reduce the pay. This could have a negative effect on the employee’s attitude and if reduced too much could mean that some indemnity would have to be paid.