Five Benefits of Return to Work Programs for Staffing Companies
Return to Work programs help you get injured employees back to their normal or modified job duties as quickly and safely as possible. Instead of paying for workers’ compensation costs and lost work days, you’ll save money by paying temporary employees their normal wages for doing light-duty work that needs to be done anyway. You’ll also be able to keep employees on their regular work schedules, which is proven to increase the likelihood of returning to regular working duties sooner.
Not convinced? Here are five other reasons to implement a Return to Work program:
1. Required by Some Insurance Companies
Many workers’ compensation insurance companies now require their clients to establish Return to Work programs, especially in coverage packages. If nothing else, having a well-documented Return to Work program will show a prospective insurance company that your staffing company takes risk management seriously. It’ll demonstrate a commitment that may be the difference in getting into a better insurance deal and/or more favorable rates.
2. Reduces Workers’ Compensation Fraud
Workers’ compensation fraud can be costly. Studies show that the longer an employee is out on disability, the more difficult it is to get them back. Common sense also tells us that if an employee knows they’ll be required to participate in temporary job duties within their injury restriction, they’re less likely to fake an injury simply to get time off.
3. Boosts Employee Morale
Return to Work policies help employees stay in the same or similar job assignments. Even if they’re not doing the exact same job, they still have a very real, every day connection with their place of employment. This has shown to speed up recovery time and reduce the chance of permanent disability.
4. Benefits Production
Keeping an employee on the job can reduce production downtime after an incident. It may help reduce need for replacement training or shifting of personal. These secondary costs can often add up quickly.
5. Reduces Litigation
It should be no surprise that a simple workers’ compensation case may result in expensive litigation. A well-executed Return to Work program will provide clear expectations and guidelines for employees injured on the job and have been shown to reduce litigation.
Establishing a Return to Work policy is not difficult. Some staffing companies already include many of the policies “unofficially” in the way they handle claims. It’s important, however, to execute these programs correctly. Clear guidelines and specific, consistent policies must be established in writing. Your insurance agent or carrier’s loss control or claims personnel can provide further information.
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