WorkSafeBC Home

Health care providers: Return-to-work information

Workers often rely on their health care providers after an injury. As a result, you have a lot of influence on your clients' recoveries. You can help them by letting them know that remaining active, and doing what they can at work, is generally good for their recovery.

New legal requirements: Duty to cooperate and duty to maintain employment

The provincial government has made amendments to the Workers Compensation Act that affect return to work. Starting January 1, 2024, employers and workers will have a legal duty to cooperate with each other and with WorkSafeBC in timely and safe return to work following a worker’s injury, and certain employers will have an obligation to return injured workers to work in specific circumstances.

For more information, see:

Info session for health care providers (Nov. 29)

You’re invited to attend our info session for health care providers on the upcoming duty to cooperate and duty to maintain employment obligations. Learn more.

Steps you can take

Work can be an important part of therapy for many people, and can help your clients make a safe and lasting recovery. Here are some ways you can help:

  • Talk to your client about what they can do, rather than what they can't do. Encourage your client to keep in regular contact with their employer.
  • Make a written list of any limitations related to the injury. Give a copy to your client, and ask them to review the list with their employer.
  • Set expectations with your client that work can support recovery.
  • Explain the differences between hurt and harm. Many conditions, such as soft tissue injuries, cause some pain while the worker recovers. Let clients know that pain is not always harmful.
  • Set injury-appropriate recovery expectations for your client.

Collaboration helps recovery

It takes a team to help injured workers recover and return to their normal lives. As part of that team, you provide health care advice and support the client's recovery. Your collaboration and communication with your client and the employer about the value of recovering at work are important elements in recovery.

By recommending work limitations, you help the employer and your client make important decisions. Your input will shape their ideas about what duties are both possible and safe for the worker.

Need help?

We're here to assist you. Please call our Claims Call Centre if you have concerns about an injured worker's recovery.