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A return-to-work program is a proactive way for employers to help injured workers stay at work or return to productive and safe employment as soon as physically possible.
Return to work options can involve transitional duties (temporary work tasks that are meaningful and productive) and or a gradual return to work.
The return to work process may be initiated at the request of the employer, the injured worker, WorkSafeBC staff, or the injured worker's attending physician, any of whom can identify an opportunity for work as a part of recovery.
Many individuals are available to assist the employer in developing an appropriate individual plan for their employee. The attending physician is available to consult with the employer regarding the restrictions and capabilities of the injured worker.
A safe and durable return-to-work plan is designed to accommodate the worker's capabilities. Staff at WorkSafeBC are available to work closely with the physician and the employer to assist in the planning, coordination, and monitoring of a return-to-work plan.
A return-to-work program takes all injuries and illnesses into account; each case is considered independently and an appropriate return-to-work plan established. The initiation of the return-to-work process may be at the request of either the:
This is WorkSafeBC's free Hire a Worker service, designed to assist previously injured workers in securing employment while saving the employer money on advertising, recruitment, and training.
If a worker is seriously injured they may be referred to WorkSafeBC's vocational rehabilitation services for counselling, vocational assessment, planning, and knowledge and skill development, to assist in their return to employment.
WorkSafeBC nurse advisors are available to help with return to work programs. They promote a safe and timely return to work by:
If you have an accepted claim, talk to your employer and case manager about a return-to-work program in your workplace.
WorkSafeBC rehabilitation staff are available to monitor your progress and make recommendations to your case manager regarding your transition to full time hours, ensuring an effective transition.
Workers benefit by a more rapid and complete recovery. They are also able to perform meaningful work while maintaining their income levels and job status within the company. For more information, see Return to Work is Good Therapy (PDF 439kb).
Injured workers can maintain employment security, seniority, and benefits while they recover.
If you are an injured worker in the Vocational Rehabilitation Program you can use the Vocational Rehabilitation job finder to access information on available jobs.
The longer you stay off work due to a back injury or back pain, the less likely you are to return, so it's important to get back as soon as possible. Talk to your employer about your situation and discuss how you can modify any work activities that stress your back.
In most circumstances, your case manager will determine whether referral to Vocational Rehabilitation Services is appropriate.
Guidelines for modified work for strain/sprain injuries (PDF 137kb)
Return to Work is Good Business (PDF 546kb)
Selective/Light Employment (PDF 569kb)
Contact WorkSafeBC's free Hire a Worker service, designed to assist previously injured workers in securing employment while saving you money on advertising, recruitment, and training.
View our return-to-work videos: four employers highlight strategies that can help you improve the results of your return-to-work program.
Health care providers benefit by having an additional tool for helping injured workers recover from workplace injuries. Return to Work is Good Medicine (PDF 530kb)
The MARP Assessment program focuses on providing diagnostic clarification, establishing appropriate treatment options, and making return-to-work recommendations to injured workers. The service is offered by physicians who have a Diploma in Sports Medicine or a specialty in Occupational Medicine.
Workers are referred to the MARP program by a WorkSafeBC officer who has received a written medical referral for MARP Services.
Contact Return to Work Support Services for help.
Vocational Rehabilitation Services offers several programs and services to assist injured workers in returning to work