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Worker's responsibilities in the Work Reintegration process

As a worker, what are my responsibilities in the Work Reintegration process?

As an injured or ill worker, you are required to follow these steps.

1.    Get proper medical treatment immediately following a work-related injury or illness and follow the recommendations of your health professional.

2.    Report your injury or illness to your employer as soon as possible.

3.    Contact your employer as soon as possible after seeking initial health-care treatment to begin discussing potential return to work.

4.    Stay in contact with your employer throughout your recovery and provide them with information on your progress and status. Where possible, establish a schedule of regular contact and, for your own benefit, keep a record of these contact dates.

5.    Work with your employer to identify suitable work opportunities. This is work that:

  • Is safe
  • Is productive
  • Is within your functional abilities
  • Restores your pre-injury earnings as closely as possible.

6.    Provide the WSIB with any relevant information requested concerning your return to work.

7.    Report any significant changes in your medical condition or income that may affect your benefits (also known as a “material change”). If you’re in doubt whether a change is material, contact your WSIB Case Manager. You must report any material change in your status within 10 days of the change occurring. Examples include:

  • Returning to work
  • Beginning to receive other income or government benefits
  • Significant changes in your medical condition.

8.    Notify the WSIB of any disputes or disagreements concerning your return to work.

9.    Co-operate in the Work Reintegration process.

If you refuse to co-operate in fulfilling your responsibilities, the WSIB could make a finding of non-co-operation, which could result in your benefits being affected. For example, they can be reduced, suspended or discontinued. 

Functional Abilities Form

In cases where you and your employer are planning for your return to suitable work, functional abilities information will be required. The Functional Abilities Form for Early and Safe Return to Work (370k, pdf) is a tool that provides information about your physical condition and your ability to work. A request for the form should only be initiated by you or your employer and, ideally, should only be completed when you are functionally able to return to work.

Your treating health professional will complete the form. This could include a doctor, physiotherapist, or other licensed health care professional. The information gathered highlights what a worker can do after a workplace injury or illness. The form allows the health professional to identify your ability to walk, stand, sit, lift, and perform other work-related tasks. You and your employer can then use this information to plan return to work by identifying jobs that you are capable of performing within the limits set out in the FAF.

For more on the FAF, please review the FAF Fact Sheet (158k, pdf) and the Guide to Completing the FAF (239k, pdf).

Related Info:

  • Responsibilities of the Workplace Parties in Work Reintegration (Policy #19-02-02)

What are my employer’s responsibilities in the Work Reintegration process?

Your employer is first required to report your injury to the WSIB and then:

1.    Contact you as soon as possible after your injury/illness.

2.    Maintain appropriate communication with you throughout your recovery and return to work. Where possible, establish a schedule of regular contact with you.

3.    Attempt to provide you with suitable work. This is work that:

  • Is safe
  • Is productive
  • Is within your functional abilities
  • Restores your pre-injury earnings as closely as possible.

4.    Provide the WSIB with any information requested concerning your return to work.

5.    Offer to re-employ you if you are functionally able to perform the essential duties of your pre-injury job or suitable work. A re-employment obligation exists if:

  • You have been ‘unable to work’ as a result of your work-related injury or illness
  • You have been continuously employed by your employer for at least one year before the date of your injury/illness, and 
  • Your employer regularly employs 20 or more workers.

Your employer’s obligation to re-employ you remains in effect until the earliest of:

  • The second anniversary of the date of your injury or illness.
  • One year after you are declared fit to perform the essential duties of your pre-injury job or other suitable work, or
  • When you reach age 65.

Note: Different re-employment rules apply to Construction Sector employers. If you are a worker in the construction industry, see policy 19-05-02, Re-employment Obligations in the Construction Industry - Threshold, Duration and Specific Employer Requirements or contact your Case Manager for more information.

6.    Notify the WSIB of any disputes or disagreements concerning your Work Reintegration.

7.    Co-operate in the Work Reintegration process.

In cases where your employer refuses to co-operate, the WSIB may levy a penalty for non-co-operation. 

Related Info:

What are the WSIB’s responsibilities in the Work Reintegration process?

The WSIB has a number of responsibilities in the Work Reintegration process. It will:

1.    Provide you and your employer with timely information to help you understand:

  • What to expect through the Work Reintegration process.
  • What you and your employer are expected to do.
  • Your rights and responsibilities.
  • Who to ask for help.

2.    Monitor the activity, progress and co-operation between you and your employer.

3.    Obtain and clarify information on your functional abilities.

4.    Help resolve difficulties and disputes through the process.

5.    Assess the need for Work Reintegration services if you and your employer have been unsuccessful in arranging a return to suitable and available work.

6.    Provide Return to Work and/or Work Transition services to help you and your employer through the Work Reintegration process. This could include worksite visits that involve ergonomic assessments and functional work capacity assessments

An ergonomic assessment is conducted when a specific job has been identified for you that is considered potentially suitable. It involves an assessment of the workplace and the workstation to determine further modifications that may be required to prevent a new injury or re-injury.

A functional work capacity assessment looks at your physical functioning levels and compares them to the physical demands of the work. The assessment will provide recommendations on job suitability including modifications, if required.

7.    Make decisions on all claim-related and compliance issues.

Related info:

Compass: Guiding you to a healthy and safe workplace
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