3000-2-8Return To Work

Responsible Executive:
Senior Vice-President, Strategy & Corporate Services
Director, Human Resources
Issue Date:
March 28, 2012
Supersedes Date:
November 30, 2014
Last Review:
January 16, 2020
Last Revision:
January 16, 2020

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 in order to return to work. College success is dependent on working with its employees to ensure a caring and consistent approach for all ill, injured or disabled employees.


  1. The College will comply with all applicable legislation and College policies concerning the return to work of employees who have suffered injury, illness or disability.
  2. The College will provide an efficient and timely return to work process for all employees who have suffered injury, illness or disability.
  3. The College will ensure that the return to work process is readily available and communicated to all employees in a variety of formats. 
  4. The College will work with the returning employee and other stakeholders to create a return to work plan to ensure a successful reintegration of the employee into the workplace following a leave due to illness, injury or disability
  5. Lambton College will work with the employee to determine and implement appropriate return to work and accommodation measures on a case by case basis.
  6. The return to work plan must be approved by the treating health care practitioner and the College before implementation.
  7. The final determination of the conditions of an employee’s return to work lies with the College.
  8. The College will protect the confidentiality of personal and medical information provided by employees.
  9. The Director, Human Resources and the Senior Vice-President, Strategy & Corporate Services are responsible for the administration and communication of this policy.
  10. The Executive Committee shall review the Return to Work Program on an annual basis, as required under AODA legislation.

Roles and Responsibilities

  1. The employee shall:
    1. Notify directly their supervisor of a leave due to illness, injury or disability on the first day of absence;
    2. Provide medical documentation from the treating health care practitioner on the 5th day of continuous absence for non-occupational injury and illness
    3. Maintain appropriate contact with their  supervisor, and the department of Director, Human Resources as appropriate, throughout the absence;
    4. Indicate to their supervisor the estimated duration of absence. if known;
    5. Record their absence(s) in the HRIS;
    6. Obtain and comply with the appropriate medical treatment;
    7. Meet weekly with the Return to Work (RTW) representative to review and discuss their progress;
    8. Make initial payment for medical documentation;
    9. Provide all information necessary for return to work planning;
    10. Participate in identifying return to work options;
    11. Participate in Return to Work (RTW) committee meetings and return to work planning;
    12. Include a union or association representative in all RTW discussions, planning, etc., at their discretion.
  2. The supervisor shall:
    1. Report all occupational illnesses or injuries to the Return to Work (RTW) representative immediately;
    2. Encourage communication with the employee during their absence;
    3. Receive updates from the Return to Work (RTW) representative throughout the return to work process;
    4. Engage co-workers, as necessary, in the RTW Plan;
    5. Identify return to work options based on the employee’s functional abilities and limitations;
    6. Participate in the return to work planning;
    7. Implement the approved RTW plan;
    8. Monitor the employee’s performance throughout the duration of the RTW Plan and inform the Return to Work (RTW) representative of the performance.
  3. The Return to Work (RTW) representative shall:
    1. Oversee the RTW process, including RTW plan development, from start to finish;
    2. Receive from the department of Director, Human Resources, the case files concerning non-occupational illness, injury or disability that require RTW planning;
    3. Provide the employee with a copy of the Return to Work policy;
    4. Provide, for completion, the treating health care practitioner with a Functional Abilities Form that outlines work restrictions and limitation or the employee and then assess the information to identify possible return to work strategies;
    5. Consult with the employee and supervisor and, where required or appropriate, the department of Director, Human Resources, union or association representative or other stakeholders, concerning employee abilities, restrictions and limitations, and job demands, physical demands analysis and timing of return to work;
    6. Strike a RTW Committee and call meetings of the committee, when necessary;
    7. Arrange for supporting assessments (e.g. third-party assessments), when required;
    8. use a third-party medical provider, if required by the department of Director, Human Resources, to assist with specific cases;
    9. Develop the RTW plan, in consultation with the employee’s supervisor, based on the employee’s restrictions and limitations, and other relevant considerations including the capacity of the College to accommodate;
    10. Forward the RTW plan it to all relevant parties for consideration;
    11. Follow up with the treating health care practitioner to ensure there are no concerns with the RTW plan.
    12. Finalize the RTW plan and distribute it to all relevant parties;
    13. Monitor the implementation and effectiveness of the plan;
    14. Modify the plan, when required, in consultation with the employee and supervisor;
    15. Implement, when necessary, a dispute resolution process using the RTW Committee, and provide to the Committee all relevant information.
  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 RTW plan.
  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. Participate, at the employee’s request, in RTW Committee meetings.
  6. The Return to Work committee shall:
    1. Consist of the employee, the employee’s supervisor, the Return to Work (RTW) representative, the employee’s union or association representative, if requested by the employee, and, if applicable, Director, Human Resources management representative;
    2. Assist the Return to Work representative 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 RTW 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 RTW Mediator provided by the WSIB);
    2. Facilitate RTW Committee meetings and discussions to achieve a resolution.

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

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