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How to Build Your Return to Work and Light Duty 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.
Communication procedures with the health providers, procedure of initiating the program, schedule of the review process of the entire program, policies set in place, handouts about the process, light duty positions assigned, and procedures of conducting the program are some of the most common return to work program’s elements.
This program is worth taking due to its benefits in taking the employee back to normalcy which cannot be done by people he or she interacts with while receiving treatment and is also beneficial to the employer who cut down the costs of training new employees, reduced productivity and absenteeism.
While putting a light duty and return to work program in place, employees should be informed on how being away may lead to reduced or ended wages, how medical cover may be lost, necessity of informing back on progress and ability to get back to work, and that it is not a new contract. At this stage on the side of the employer, they should find a person to fill in as the manager of the return to work and light duty program, who need to possess a strong understanding of the FMLA, ADA, short and long term disability coverage by the organization and the law on compensation of workers.
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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