3000-2-8Return To Work

Responsible Executive:
Senior Vice-President, Strategy & Corporate Services
Director, Facilities Management
Issue Date:
March 28, 2012
Supersedes Date:
January 16, 2020
Last Review:
November 17, 2022
Last Revision:
November 17, 2022

Upon request, the college will provide a copy of this policy in an alternate format.

Lambton College is committed to supporting employees who have been absent from work due to illness, injury or disability and require accommodation to Return to Work (RTW) in a timely manner. College success is dependent on working with its employees to ensure a caring and consistent approach for all ill, injured, or disabled employees.

Policy

  1. The College will:
    1. Ensure compliance with all applicable legislation and College policies
    2. Ensure that the Return to Work process is readily available and communicated to all employees in a variety of formats.
    3. Protect the confidentiality of personal and medical information provided by employees.
    4. Provide an efficient and timely Return to Work process for all employees who have been absent from work due to illness, injury, or disability, including those who have been injured while on the job at the College.
    5. Work with the returning employee and other stakeholders on a case-by-case basis to determine and implement appropriate return to work and accommodation measures for ensuring a successful reintegration of the employee into the workplace following a leave due to illness, injury or disability.
    6. Require employees to provide medical documentation from a regulated health professional for developing and implementing the Return to Work plan.
    7. Appoint the Director, Facilities Management in consultation with the Director, Human Resources, or designate, responsible for the administration and communication of this policy.
  2. The final determination of the conditions of an employee's return to work lies with the College.
  3. Falling in line with AODA legislation, the College wil review the Return to Work Program on an annual basis. The review will take into consideration feedback provided by employees and supervisors who participated in the process. The return to work representatives as well as the unions will be consulted.

Cease of Benefit

  1. Supporting medical documentation is required within the return to work planning process to facilitate access to paid benefits.

Roles and Responsibilities

  1. The employee shall:
    1. Directly notify their supervisor and Health & Safety of a leave due to illness, injury, or disability on the first day of absence and indicate their estimated duration of leave, if known.
    2. Obtain and comply with the appropriate medical treatment, and where possible, schedule appointments outside working hours or at the beginning or end of day.
    3. Record and keep current their attendance and personal contact information in the HRIS.
    4. Provide appropriate medical documentation from their regulated health professional (physician, nurse practitioner, psychiatrist) within 24 hours of their work-related injury or illness and any subsequent information necessary for return to work planning. Medical documentation must note the employee’s general nature of illness, injury, or disability without diagnosis, capacity to work, and any functional limitations or restrictions, if required, and date of return or reassessment.
    5. If an absence is due to a non-occupational injury or illness, appropriate medical documentation is required from a regulated health professional (physician, nurse practitioner, psychiatrist) on the 5th consecutive working day of absence, and any subsequent information necessary for return to work planning. Medical documentation must note the employee’s general nature of illness, injury, or disability without diagnosis, capacity to work, and any functional limitations or restrictions, if required, and date of return or reassessment.
    6. Maintain communication with their supervisor and Health & Safety, throughout the absence, and meet with them to review and discuss their progress of the return to work plan, as needed.
    7. Make initial payment for medical documentation.
    8. Participate in identifying return to work options, return to work committee meetings, and return to work planning.
    9. Include a union or association representative in all return to work discussions, planning, etc., at their discretion.
    10. Provide Health & Safety with feedback on the return to work program for consideration.
  2. The supervisor shall:
    1. Report all occupational illnesses or injuries to Health & Safety immediately;
    2. Encourage communication with the employee throughout their absence, as appropriate;
    3. Receive updates from Health & Safety throughout the return to work process;
    4. Engage co-workers, as necessary, in the Return to Work Plan;
    5. Provide Health & Safety with any information necessary for return to work planning
    6. Participate in identifying return to work options, return to work committee meetings, and return to work planning;
    7. Implement the approved return to work plan;
    8. Monitor the employee's performance throughout the duration of the Return to Work Plan and provide Health & Safefty with updates.
  3. Health & Safety shall:
    1. Oversee the Return to Work process including early and safe return to work and Return to Work plan development for non-occupational injury or illness from onset of injury/illness to full return of pre-injury duties;
    2. Provide the employee with a copy of the Return to Work policy, and Health Assessment Form and/or WSIB Functional Abilities Form, for completion by their regulated health professional which outlines the employee’s capacity to work, including any associated functional restrictions and limitations;
    3. Provide, for completion, the regulated health professional with a Health Assessment Form and/or WSIB Functional Abilities Form and then assess the information to identify possible return to work strategies, requesting further information or clarification for the Return to Work plan;
    4. Consult with the employee and supervisor and, where required or appropriate, the Human Resources Department, union or association representative or other stakeholders, concerning the employee’s functional abilities, job demands, physical demands analysis and timing of return to work, when developing and modifying the Return to Work plan;
    5. Strike a Return to Work Committee and call meetings of the committee, when necessary;
    6. Arrange for supporting assessments (e.g. third-party assessments, Independent Medical Exams), when required;
    7. Use a third-party medical provider, , in consultation with Human Resources to assist with specific cases;
    8. Develop the Return to Work plan, based on the employee’s functional abilities assessment, and other relevant considerations including the capacity of the College to accommodate;
    9. Ensure all relevant parties receive the most current Return to Work plan;
    10. Monitor the implementation and effectiveness of the plan;
    11. Implement, when necessary, a dispute resolution process using the Return to Work Committee, and provide to the Committee all relevant information.
    12. Provide return to work information to employees during orientation.
    13. Consider feedback from the employee, supervisor, and other relevant parties on the Return to Work program and review with Human Resources
  4. The health care practitioner shall:
    1. Provide an assessment of the functional abilities, restrictions and limitations of the employee;
    2. Provide appropriate and effective treatment to the employee;
    3. Support the employee in their return to work efforts;
    4. Review and provide feedback on the Return to Work plan, as needed.
  5. The union or association representative shall:
    1. Assist the employee in understanding their responsibilities and the return to work procedures;
    2. Assist and/or accompany the employee, at the employee’s request, in return to work meetings and discussions;
    3. Provide feedback to the Health & Safety on Return to Work program for consideration
  6. The Return to Work committee shall:
    1. Consist of the employee, the employee’s supervisor, Health & Safety, the employee’s union or association representative, if requested by the employee, and, if applicable, a Human Resources management representative;
    2. Assist Health & Safety with the development, implementation and, where necessary, modification of the employee’s Return to Work Program.
  7. The Return to Work mediator shall:
    1. Be selected by the Return to Work Committee. (May include individuals with experience in resolving disability-related disputes, the College EFAP provider or, in the case of WSIB claims in dispute, a return to work Specialist provided by the WSIB);
    2. Facilitate Return to Work Committee meetings and discussions to achieve a resolution.
    3. Provide Health & Safety with feedback on Return to Work program for consideration

For questions or concerns regarding policies, please contact the policy sponsor. See the phone list for contact info.

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