What are the employer’s responsibilities in returning me to work?

An employer of an injured worker has obligations under the Act to assist the worker to return to suitable work as soon as possible following an injury.

They must assist in the development of a return to work programme and offer suitable work to support the recovery of the worker.

If however an employer does not have suitable duties then the employer is not obligated to provide such work. Suitable duties are duties that can be provided which are in line with the worker’s capacity for work and which are meaningful and provide some purpose for the employer.

If the employer has no such suitable duties and you are certified fit for suitable work then you must seek those suitable duties with an alternate employer, either yourself or through the assistance of a rehabilitation provider. You have an ongoing obligation to look for suitable work even if your employer cannot provide you with such work.

The insurer will normally appoint a work place rehabilitation provider to assist you and the employer with your return to work. The primary goal is to return to work in the same position that you were in at the time of your injury. If this is not achievable due to the nature of the injury you sustained then the next goal is to return the worker to the same employer in some suitable or light work. If this is not possible then the goal of the rehabilitation provider is to assist you in providing suitable work with a different employer.