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Supporting a return to work

What you should do to prepare for an employee to return to work

​​​​​​​​​When an employee is absent from work for a period of time there are recommended steps that you can take as an employer to assist their return.
Use the links below to find information on supporting a return to work, how to support employees with long term conditions and support services that can help you and your employees.
  1. Support a return to work
  2. Support employees with long term conditions

2. Support employees with long term conditions

If an employee has a long term condition then vocational (work) rehabilitation can help them to return to and remain in work. It is not just about providing appropriate healthcare or treatment. It is about providing workplace interventions that can provide support.

​Benefits of workplace support

Evidence supports that agreeing temporary adjustments to work activities and patterns can reduce the length of absence and increases return to work rates.

Simple adjustments can often be low in cost but have a big impact.

To find out more about the benefits of vocational rehabilitation, you can download a copy of a review from the GOV.UK website.

As an employer, this review can help you to understand

  • the key role you have to play in the process
  • what type of interventions will work for different people.

Self-referral services

If one of your employees has a health condition which is impacting on their work, they could benefit from Working Health Services Scotland.  

It provides free and confidential advice and health support for the self-employed and people working in companies with less than 250 employees.

Find out about Working Health Services Scotland

Simple steps to take

As an employer you should consider the following steps as part of the process of supporting an employee

  • analysis and evaluation of the job
  • goal setting
  • planning of interventions
  • health advice, including self management
  • counselling.

Sources of suppo​​rt

To provide effective support you may need input from professionals.

This includes

  • health professionals - such as occupational therapists, occupational health advisors and physiotherapists
  • Job centre work coaches.