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Your return-to-work responsibilities

When a workplace injury or illness happens, we’ll help people with work-related injuries and illnesses get back to safe and suitable work and get their employers back to business as usual.

If you are an employer

If you have a work-related injury or illness

You have a responsibility to:

  • Report your employee’s injury or illness to us by submitting a form 7.
  • Get in touch with your employee as soon as possible after the injury or illness.
  • Stay in touch with your employee throughout their recovery and return to work.
  • Try to provide suitable work. Suitable work is work that:
    • is safe,
    • is productive,
    • is within your employee’s functional abilities, and
    • matches your employee’s pre-injury pay as closely as possible
  • Provide us with any information we request about your employee’s return to work.
  • Offer to re-employ your employee if he or she can perform the essential duties of the pre-injury job or other suitable work.
  • Let us know of any disputes or disagreements between you and your employee about their return to work.
  • Co-operate in the return-to-work process. If you choose not to co-operate in the return-to-work process, we may fine you for non-co-operation. Read more about what happens when you don’t co-operate in the return-to-work process.

You have a responsibility to:

  • Get medical treatment immediately after a work-related injury or illness and follow the recommendations of your health-care professional.
  • Report your injury or illness to your employer as soon as possible.
  • Get in touch with your employer after your first health-care treatment to begin talking about your return to work.
  • Stay in contact with your employer throughout your recovery and provide them with information on your progress. Try to touch base regularly and keep a record of when you contact your employer.
  • Work with your employer to identify suitable work opportunities. Suitable work is work that:
    • is safe,
    • is productive,
    • is within your functional abilities, and
    • matches your pre-injury pay as closely as possible.
  • Provide us with any information we request about your return to work.
  • Let us know about any significant changes in your medical condition or income. If you’re not sure whether a change is significant, get in touch with us. You have to tell us about any significant changes within 10 days of the change happening.
  • Significant changes can include:
    • Returning to work;
    • Starting to receive other income or government benefits; or
    • Important updates in your medical condition.
    • Let us know of any disputes or disagreements between you and your employer about your return to work.
    • Co-operate in the return-to-work process. If you don’t co-operate in the return-to-work process, we may make a finding of non-co-operation, which could affect your benefits (e.g., benefits can be reduced, suspended or discontinued).

Our responsibilities

  • Provide you with information to help you understand:
    • what to expect throughout the return-to-work process;
    • what is expected of you;
    • your rights and responsibilities; and
    • who to ask for help.
  • Monitor progress and co-operadeion.
  • Get and clarify information on functional abilities.
  • Help resolve any difficulties and disputes throughout the process.
  • Decide whether you need our return-to-work services and if needed, provide return-to-work services to help arrange suitable work. This could include worksite visits to evaluate ergonomic and functional work capacity.
  • Make all claim-related decisions.

Using the Functional Abilities Form

We need functional abilities information to help you plan a safe and suitable return to work. The Functional Abilities Form for Early and Safe Return to Work (PDF) provides information about a person’s physical condition and their ability to work. A request for the form should only come from a person with a work-related injury or illness or their employer and should only be completed when planning a return to work.

The treating health-care professional (e.g., doctor, physiotherapist) will complete the form. The health-care professional will identify a person’s ability to walk, stand, sit, lift, and perform other work-related tasks. This information helps identify jobs that a person can perform within the limits set out in the form.

For more information on the Functional Abilities Form, see the Guide to Completing the Functional Abilities Form (PDF).

More information

Compass: Guiding you to a healthy and safe workplace
WSIB@work seasonal newsletter