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Process of Creating your Light Duty and Return to Work Programs
An employer gains by cutting the cost of employee non productivity while the employee gains more job security hence more financial freedom whenever you get the employee who has been away from work back to the workplace, making it a win-win endeavor. To meet the above stated needs, it is essential to have a written clear light duty, which is a component of return to work which offer work responsibility that are different from the normal ones to the employee, and return to work plan.
Among the most used return to work program elements include policies, schedule of the review of the entire return to work program, light duty positions assigned, schedule for monitoring the requirements and progress of employees who are away, communication procedure with the healthcare providers and steps to follow while initiating the program.
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.
Employers should have a well written policy in place which should explain to employees how being away reduces or cuts wages, how workers may lose their medical cover, how they should inform the employer on their progress and suitability to return to work how long light duty tasks will last and that this is not a new employment contract. On the employers end, the company should decide who will be in charge of the return to work and light duty program and this person should have a thorough knowledge of FMLA, ADA, the short term and long term disability coverage of the company and the workers compensation law.
As the employers implement this program, they need to ensure that they find out the essential services in the job description of the employees, give the employees the return to work and light duty program form to fill whereby the failure of filling or rejecting is considered rejecting employment, inform the employees on how prepared they should be, communicate the policy to the employees during the safety policy conversations, redesign the job to meet the ADA regulations if there has been any physical changes on the body of the employee, and should also tell the employees what they stand to gain when they are effective participants of the program.

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