In a previous issue of Benefits FYI, we discussed the procedure for making a claim under UBC’s long-term disability (LTD) plan. This plan is called the “Income Replacement Plan” (IRP) or the “Disability Benefit Plan” (DBP), depending on your employee group. . We also provided an overview of the process for returning to work after being on an IRP/DBP claim.
In this edition of Benefits FYI, we describe “return to work/remain at work” support services that are available to staff/faculty at the Vancouver campus from UBC’s Workplace Health Services (WHS) unit.
The Work Re-Integration and Accommodation Program (WRAP) is available for faculty/staff at UBC’s Okanagan campus. For more information, please visit the WRAP website, or contact Tracey Hawthorn, WRAP Coordinator (250-807-8183).
Accessing Return To Work/Remain At Work Support Services
Support is available for faculty/staff members who are still at work and who require assistance to remain at work. It may be that you are currently working, but are struggling in the workplace as a result of physical or mental illness or injury.
Resources are also available for staff/faculty members who are currently away from work due to illness or injury, and who require assistance to return to work. This includes those on WorkSafeBC (WSBC) claims, IRP/DBP claims, short-term sick leave, or an unpaid medical leave of absence.
Managers, human resources professionals, and union/association representatives can make referrals to the program on behalf of individual faculty/staff members.
Using the Program
Participation in the program is voluntary unless your illness/injury occurred at work (e.g., WorkSafeBC claim), or if you are returning to work from being on an IRP/DBP claim – in these cases, participation in the Return to Work program is mandatory.
Being productive and active can help improve a person’s overall emotional and physical wellbeing. When recovering from illness/injury, being at work can help support your recovery in a number of ways. Your routine is maintained, isolation is reduced as you connect with co-workers, a sense of achievement is gained by achieving work goals, and your financial security is enhanced.
Accessing the Program
You can either contact the program yourself, or you can be referred to the program by your manager/supervisor/director, union/association, or Human Resources Advisor. If you feel comfortable letting your manager know that you would like assistance from the program, you can ask them for help. If you don’t feel comfortable talking with your supervisor, you could contact the WHS program directly, or ask your union/association for assistance.
Once contact with the WHS program has been made, you will be assigned a WHS Case Coordinator, who will contact you to discuss your situation.
Your WHS Case Coordinator will provide you with guidance about the information that you will need to obtain from your medical practitioner. In general, you will need to provide documentation about any work-related limitations and restrictions that you have as a result of your illness/injury. If you are currently off work, then the medical documentation will also need to outline the expected timeline for your return to work.
Your WHS Case Coordinator will involve the relevant people in planning for your return to work, or to assist you to remain at work.
The process is intended to support a safe, healthy, and sustainable return to regular job duties when possible, and if not possible, then suitable alternate duties or schedules are explored.
Planning for return to work/remain at work is a collaborative process that involves you and your WHS Case Coordinator, as well as others such as your doctor, other healthcare providers, your manager, your union/ association, and Human Resources.
The purpose of a workplace accommodation is to allow you to be productive in the workplace to take into account your medical limitations and restrictions. For example, accommodations may involve provision of ergonomic equipment, or modification of hours and/or duties. Accommodations may be short-term or long-term in nature. The goal of an accommodation is to ensure that you can safely remain at work, or successfully return to work as early as possible.
The WHS unit requires informed written consent prior to obtain required medical documentation. UBC is bound by the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FOIPPA), which governs the collection, use, and disclosure of an individual’s personal information. WHS files are kept in an encrypted database, and are separate from, and not part of, your personnel file.
Contacting the RTW Program
Contact the Benefit Claims and Finance Associate at 604-822-8696 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
For a referral:
Contact your manager/supervisor/director, union/association, or Human Resources Advisor.
Workplace Health Services (WHS): http://www.hr.ubc.ca/health/return-to-work-program/