Return to Work Program
The Return to Work (RTW) Program is a collaborative process involving departments, unions, staff and faculty members at UBC. The program provides a planned approach to returning or remaining at work following an injury or illness, whether occupational or non-occupational.
A personalized RTW plan is developed by a staff Case Coordinator in consultation with the staff or faculty member, their physician and/or other health service providers, their bargaining agent and their department.
To contact the RTW program, please call or email the HPP Assistant (604.822.3101 or firstname.lastname@example.org), who will in turn refer you to an HPP Case Coordinator.
Purpose of the Return to Work Program
The purpose of the Return to Work Program is to facilitate remaining at work or a safe timely return to work from absence due to injury, illness or a medical condition. The program is designed to meet the requirements of British Columbia’s Human Rights Code (1996).
An employee’s stay at work or return to work may involve temporary or permanent modifications or adjustments in job duties or workplace arrangements in order to accommodate a disability of an individual staff or faculty member.
The RTW Program respects the individual employee’s dignity, privacy of personal information and confidentiality of personal health information. Data is collected for the purpose of assisting with staying at work or developing a safe return to work plan for the employee and his/her department in compliance with the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (1996) and the Personal Information Protection Act (2004). Further, outside agencies, such as WorkSafeBC or Sun Life, do not share their information with our program.
Who can access the Return to Work Program?
- Staff or faculty members may self refer to the RTW Program
- With the knowledge of the staff or faculty member, departments may refer employees to the RTW Program
- With the knowledge of the staff or faculty member, bargaining unit members may refer to the RTW Program
Roles and Responsibilities in the Return to Work Process
Some or all of the following parties may be involved in return to work planning in the following capacity:
- UBC: Complies with the Human Rights Code and all other relevant legislation including the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act. Compliance includes the duty to accommodate to the point of undue hardship for employees who meet the definition of disability as provided for in human rights law.
- Departments/Administrative Units: Identifies and provides reasonable, meaningful and productive job adaptations or accommodations that assist the return to work process. Ensures that employees returning to work follow safe work practices.
- Unions/Associations: Advocates on behalf of employees returning to work and ensures collective agreements are not compromised except as required by human rights legislation.
- Case Coordinator, Health Promotion Programs: Acts as a resource for all parties if a staff or faculty member are experiencing health related issues to remain in the workplace, or are absent/returning to work. Liaises with the medical community. Interprets medical information. Coordinates with all stakeholders involved in the planning, implementation and monitoring of safe and timely returns to work. Encourages appropriate accommodation as medically recommended. Monitors progress. Responsible for ensuring privacy and security of medical information.
- The Employee: Provides objective medical documentation of limitations and abilities to the Case Coordinator. Participates in treatment as prescribed by his or her medical team. Communicates regularly with his/her supervisor and the Case Coordinator.
Return to Work Process
For accepted referrals, the RTW Process begins once the staff/faculty member signs an informed consent. Once the consent is signed, a Case Coordinator is assigned to the file.
The process is flexible depending on individual case needs, however, the Return to Work Process generally proceeds in the following manner:
- program description, interview and consent
- collection of medical documentation for the purpose of assisting with at work accommodations or RTW
- providing updates to all stakeholders regarding restrictions, limitations and accommodations that may be required
- RTW plan implementation
- follow up and monitoring