Caregiver Return to Work Process

The return-to-work process  refers to the procedures and protocols implemented when a caregiver who has been on leave due to illness, injury, or other reasons is ready to return to their job duties. This process is designed to facilitate a smooth transition back to work while ensuring the caregiver's health and safety, as well as the well-being of patients and colleagues. Overall, the return-to-work process in healthcare aims to support employees in resuming their job responsibilities while promoting their health, safety, and successful recover.

Key Terms & Process

RTW = Return to work 

Mandatory when a caregiver has:
  • Missed five or more shifts due to illness.
  • Been admitted to a hospital.
  •  Undergone a procedure involving anesthesia.
The caregiver must submit either a signed Fitness for Duty form or a signed provider’s note releasing them with no restrictions. No official form is required for them or their manager to complete. If the provider’s note indicates restrictions, CGH initiates the caregiver on the TWA/PRA process.

TWA= Transitional Work Agreement

Necessary when a caregiver requires temporary accommodations due to a medical issue:
  • Submission of a signed provider’s note detailing these restrictions.
  • Restrictions are entered into the Temporary Work Accommodations (TWA) form, to be signed by both the caregiver and their manager.
  • The manager has the discretion to determine if they can accommodate the restrictions
  • If the manager can accommodate, the caregiver cannot work contrary to their restrictions.
  • If the caregiver works against the restrictions, they must cease until they provide CGH with a new provider’s note and a new TWA
  • Caregiver Health and Disability Management (DM) have 24 hours to process.

PRA= Permanent Restriction Agreement 

Similar to a Temporary Work Accommodations (TWA), but the restrictions are permanent:
  • Caregiver must furnish a detailed provider’s note.
  •  The manager has the discretion to decide whether to accommodate.
  •  If unable to accommodate, the manager must provide a summary explaining why it would pose an undue hardship to the department.

    What occurs if accommodation isn't possible?
  •  The caregiver will commence a 60-day job search.

What is Job Search?

The workers' compensation (WC) program provides compensation to caregivers until temporary or permanent work is secured for those injured at work. The job search period lasts for 60 days and is closely overseen by Disability Management (DM). At the conclusion of the 60 days, termination of the caregiver may occur.