Returning to work: Vocational Rehabilitation for Employers and Case Managers
‘How do I successfully support an employee with their return to work when they have been off sick for some time?
‘How do I best maintain contact with an employee during sickness absence without being accused of pressuring them to return too soon?’
‘How do I increase employee wellbeing? Everyone seems so stressed and under pressure all the time.’
Do these questions sound familiar to you?
You may have Googled these or similar concerns as an employer or even as a colleague.
Vocational rehabilitation really means ‘return to work’
All these issues relate directly to a process called vocational rehabilitation. Vocational rehabilitation fundamentally means the process of supporting someone in their return to work after a period of sickness absence. The illness may involve their physical and / or mental health or even after they have had an accident or injury. We often receive confused looks when we mention the words ‘vocational rehabilitation’, but as you can see it’s just another way of saying ‘return to work’.
At KMA our Vocational Rehabilitation Consultants (VRC’s) work closely with insurance companies, employers and case managers to ensure that an employee who is off work is supported to overcome barriers to accessing, maintaining, or returning to employment or other occupation which is meaningful to them. Many of the clients we see have complex health conditions or have experienced life changing injuries.
Our role as VRC’s and occupational therapists is to assist employers to reintegrate an ill or injured employee and/or maintain their role within the workplace. We have experience working with small businesses and with large public and private sector organisations across the UK.
What we do:
All our vocational rehabilitation programmes are realistic, outcome / solution-focused and sustainable. This ensures healthy working practices that optimise an employee’s occupational performance and potential, thus preventing a failed return to work, future relapse, or further injury. We provide comprehensive reports identifying the employee’s current functional ability, barriers to work and recommendations to achieve and sustain a return to work.
We will advise on the modification of the employee’s role and environment under the terms of the Equality Act 2010, where applicable. Our integrated approach ensures: –
Transparent end goals from the outset
A coordinated and systematic approach
Reduced treatment duration
A focus on early return to work and / or regaining optimum level of function
A former client’s testimonial reads as follows:
‘My employer appointed Kate to work with me following an injury to my ankle and a diagnosis of CRPS (Chronic Regional Pain Syndrome). Kate’s regular contact, support and guidance genuinely helped me on a road to recovery and back to work much sooner than expected. Her knowledge of the condition and holistic approach was invaluable not only to me but to my family and of course, my employer. Kate’s guidance has enabled me to continue towards a full recovery in a positive manner.” — CM