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Sounding Board: Balancing employee, employer rights in return-to-work plans

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Charles Spina:

Failed returns are typically the result of poor planning (i.e. lack of planning and plan management skills), misunderstanding of relevant human rights or labour codes (the rules and definitions regarding duty to accommodate, undue hardship etc. are far more precise than a reading of this article would imply, and employers disregard them at the peril), clinically unsupported assumptions as to physical and/or cognitive function relative to professionally documented job demands, lack of transitional income funding, or failure to satisfy the interests of stakeholders.

In the more complex cases, the stakeholder group can encompass disability insurers, unions, the employer, the employee and respective legal counsel that may now be advising the employee and/or employee.

Sounds complicated, but it needn’t be if experienced people, ideally having one or more regulated health professional designations, are engaged to facilitate case scoping and case management. Without the objective professional health component–and in many cases, that should NOT include the employee’s physician, given the conflicted position that fitness-to-work or cursory assessment questionnaires place them in–there is a significant probability of failure based on differing opinions of what a person can and can not do, and when.

Monday, January 15 at 4:00 pm | Reply

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