Return to Work Programs

Return to Work Programs


Many of the workers’ compensation carriers require a company to have a Return to Work (RTW) policy.  What exactly is a return to work policy?  A RTW policy is a program designed to get the injured employee back to work as soon as possible.  To accomplish that, the employee’s job may have to be reevaluated considering the following two alternatives

  1. Temporary Alternative Work:  The employee returns to work but the employee performs a different job that accommodates the injured employee’s abilities.
  2. Modified Work:  The employee returns to their original job but restrictions are placed on the workload by the treating physician.  These restrictions may include reducing the amount of work time and restricting certain activities such as lifting.  Modified work is sometimes referred to as Light Duty.

A RTW program is beneficial to both management and employees.  Such a program:

  • Reduces the disability associated with an injury and its costs
  • Discourages malingering
  • Improves communications between the company, the employee and the physician
  • Reinforces the company’s interest and concern for an injured employee
  • Maintains communications between the injured employee and management
  • Allows an injured employee to continue to be productive

These are just a few examples of how a RTW policy can benefit any company.  They reduce cost, improve communication and make your business more productive.


Justin Mills

Corporate Risk Services, LLC.