Element 6: Co-ordinating the return to work process
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 discussed all the issues with the right people, and put the necessary measures in place to ensure everyone is working towards a common goal?
- If you have to get help from a number of advisers it may be useful to appoint a co-ordinator to ensure information is available on time, arrangements are smooth and everybody knows what is expected from them.
- It is important that the co-ordinator is familiar with the employee’s job and work environment, able to communicate and negotiate with staff at all levels and be sensitive to the needs of the employee concerned.
- A more formal approach to co-ordination, known as case management, may be needed in complicated cases or when input is needed from a wide variety of sources. A case manager is typically someone who is professionally qualified in a relevant medical area and may be involved in treating the employee.
- Case managers can also mediate in cases where communications have broken down or help is needed to move things on.
Nominating one person to co-ordinate the return to work process means all parties involved have one point of contact. This is especially important for the employee who may get frustrated if they feel they are being passed around departments.