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Helping An Employee Return To Work After Illness Or Injury

If one of your employees is injured or falls ill, it’s important that you support them in any way that you can. That means being flexible with them and giving them the time that they need to recover. 

When they are eventually ready to return to work, the transition can be very difficult, especially if they have been out of work for a long time. There may be lasting effects that bring new challenges with them too, and it’s important that you help as much as you can. If you have an employee returning to work after a long time off, these are the best ways to support them. 


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Develop A Return To Work Plan 

Before you welcome your employee back into the office, you need a plan in place. Think about what the potential challenges involved with their return will be and then consider how you will tackle them. For example, do they have mobility issues that need to be addressed? Does their workstation need to be adapted in any way? Will they need psychological and emotional support as well as physical help? In some cases, it’s best to outsource to a return to work coordinator who can manage the different aspects for you. They can liaise with doctors and insurance companies and create regular reports to ensure that your employee is getting on well. If you have a clear plan in place before they return, it’s much easier to meet all of their needs. 

Allow A Phased Return 

Coming back to work can be a big shock when you have been out of work for a long time. Going from nothing straight into full-time work may be a bit much for some people, so allow a phased return. This gives them the opportunity to adjust and then catch up on what they have missed without being thrown in at the deep end. You should also embrace remote working practices and allow them to work from home on some days if it makes life easier for them. The more flexible you can be, the easier the transition will be. 

It is likely that you have hired a temporary employee to cover their duties. If this is the case, have them work side by side so they can catch up on things and gradually take on more responsibilities until they are ready to start up again full-time. 

Provide Refresher Training 

Lack of training is one of the most common mistakes that people make during the transition back to work. Your employee has been out of the job for a long time, so it’s only natural that they will have forgotten things. It’s also likely that you do things slightly differently and simple changes like the introduction of new software or a change to certain business processes can really throw people off. So, make sure that you provide refresher training to your employee as they return to work, so they are up to scratch with everything. 

Making this transition as easy as possible for your employee is so important. Follow these basic steps and you can make sure that everything goes smoothly.

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