Element 5: Agreeing and reviewing a return to work plan
The guidance contained here was first published in 2004 and therefore makes no reference to the Fit Note. The majority of the guidance contained herein remains relevant, although readers will need to keep in mind the existence of the Fit Note in applying any potential recommendations.
Have you reviewed the return to work plan with your employee, once they have been back at work a while, to make sure they are happy and comfortable with what is happening?
- You now need to prepare a return to work plan - discussing it too soon may put pressure on the employee. But leaving it too late may mean the employee loses confidence in being able to return. Usually the best time to prepare a plan is 3 to 4 weeks into an absence. In cases of post-operative convalescence there may be clear physical milestones in the healing process that will influence the plan.
- The plan should be tailored to the individual and might include:
- the goal of the plan;
- the time period of the plan;
- Information about alternative working arrangements
- information about changes to terms and conditions
- what checks will be made to make sure the plan is put into practice
- dates when the plan will be reviewed
- Empowering an individual to influence their return to work can significantly boost their well-being and confidence.
Before implementing the plan, make sure the employee is happy with what has been put in place and that advice given by professionals, such as the individual’s GP or Occupational Health Adviser, has been taken into account.