Vigilant Blog

News, trends and analysis in employment law, HR, safety & workers' comp

Jun 08, 2017

5 Reasons Early Return-to-Work Leads to Better Results

Workers’ Comp 

Let’s put one workplace myth to rest right now: an injured employee who returns to work in a light duty position isn’t going to bust the morale of fellow co-workers. Period. Seeing their co-worker back on the road to recovery by performing lighter tasks and transitioning back to full duties will more than likely increase their own sense of job security and workplace satisfaction. Here are five good reasons to offer an early return-to-work program for your injured employees:

  1. Returning to work is the express lane on the road to recovery. Study after study shows that getting back to work promotes the healing process. Your worker stays engaged, active, and maintains his or her regular schedule.
  2. People who are off work take longer to get well and have more difficulty getting back to work. Injured workers often wrestle with depression, family issues, deconditioning, and other problems. In fact, according to L&I statistics, 50 percent of people who are off work for 1 year are still off the next.
  3. It can save big money in your workers’ comp premiums by avoiding and/or reducing time-loss days. With those savings, it might be possible to provide higher salaries, better benefits, more jobs, and a happier workplace.
  4. Workers can start earning full pay and benefits again instead of receiving only 60-75 percent of their wages from L&I. By getting back to work early an injured worker can resume normal pay much faster, and may also avoid loss of retirement contributions or Social Security credits.
  5. It weeds out people who might try to take advantage of the system by filing fraudulent claims, thinking they no longer have to work. The sooner you can get an injured worker back to work, the sooner you can close that claim.

If you haven’t established an early return-to-work program for your workplace, you’re missing out on one of the most potentially cost-saving benefits of a membership in Vigilant’s Workers’ Comp Retro Program. Contact us today to learn more about our retro program.

This website presents general information in nontechnical language. This information is not legal advice. Before applying this information to a specific management decision, consult legal counsel.