Employers who have a worker out on worker's compensation disability, often feel a loss of involvement and engagement in the management of the employee’s claim. One key way any business can gain back some of this control is by offering light-duty work options. As many of us involved in worker's compensation claims know, offering light-duty work options to accommodate work restrictions can be one of the most effective claim management tools available to employers. By providing legitimate work within the employee’s restrictions, employers not only put the control of the return to work process and management of the indemnity exposure on the claim back in their own hands but also can aid the employee with safely transition back to the workplace and their full duty position. This serves to minimize the financial impact of the claim, promotes a favorable Mod factor calculation, and in the end, helps the injured employee in their recovery.
I recently participated in a monthly workers compensation claim review with one of our large commercial clients who asked for resources regarding a template or checklist regarding light-duty work descriptions. The business was questioning what information to convey to the treating physician regarding light-duty work options available at the organization. In researching the request, I found the article linked below which provides a great general plan for creating a light-duty return to work program. Additionally, the template below may be a good starting point for employers who want to start a “bank” of light-duty work job descriptions to use when managing a worker's compensation disability. As noted in the article, the light-duty job description should include the specific physical tasks required in the work option, hours of work available, and timeframe as to when the work will be available. The idea of including a checkbox for the employee to indicate his understanding and acceptance of the job offer is also worth consideration.
If you as an Ansay client have questions in how to develop or enhance a return to work program at your business, please reach out to your Agent, who can connect you with other valuable Ansay reference tools. We can assist you in the process of regaining control of your worker's compensation claims.
Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM), How to Create a Return-to-Work/Light Duty Program, May 22, 2015.
State of Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry, “Return to Work-Safely returning injured workers to the workplace” https://www.dli.pa.gov/Businesses/Compensation/workplace-comm-safety/Pages/default.aspx