We talk a lot about the importance of return-to-work and stay-at-work services on our blog. With the possible recent changes to your health care coverage, programs that help prevent and manage employee absence are becoming increasingly important to employers. That’s because a robust return-to-work and stay-at-work program can help curb the number and reduce the duration of disability leaves.
If you haven’t previously considered implementing a disability management program, here are two reasons to consider it.
Avoiding ad-hoc accommodations
Although not everyone can be accommodated through return-to-work and stay-at-work services, implementing a program-level approach to disability takes the unique needs of your business into account. This means that instead of pulling together a plan when an employee is just about to take a leave of absence, processes are in place as an employee works through a disabling condition.
In some industries, many employees may take disability leaves for the same conditions — especially those that are a result of repetitive actions. A disability carrier can work with you to create accommodations that you can implement when needed or even suggest preventive steps.
This means that if your employees work on an assembly line and have used an ergonomic stool to reduce the strain on their bodies, this stool could be provided to employees who have the same injury — or to the entire employee group as a preventive measure. Disability carriers find the best accommodations that take your facilities and work environment into account.
Capitalizing on expertise
Investigating accommodations and pulling together return-to-work plans are within your disability carrier’s expertise. Not only can they implement solutions but also can do so in a timely manner. Reaching out to vendors independently might take weeks or months; with a plan in place, you can determine the appropriate course of action and provide the best support for an employee right away.
Even with a strategy to help connect employees with available resources, you can’t always create a work environment free of employee disability. But by pulling together a return-to-work and stay-at-work program, you can help employees take charge of their health and ensure your workforce is productive.