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Co-operating in the return-to-work process

You should be aware of what your responsibilities and obligations are in the return-to-work process. Our role is to help guide you. If you choose not to co-operate, we may need to take action.

If you’re an injured or ill person

If you choose not to co-operate, it could affect your benefits.

Penalties for non-co-operation can include an initial non-co-operation penalty. If you receive this penalty you will have your wage-loss benefits reduced by 50 per cent. This penalty comes into effect seven business days after the date of our written notice.

  • If you are still not co-operating 14 calendar days after the initial non-co-operation penalty comes into effect, we can suspend all of your wage-loss benefits.
  • If you’re still not co-operating 14 calendar days after the initial non-co-operation penalty comes into effect, we can also cancel any return-to-work training assessments and/or plans.

If we are satisfied that you are now co-operating, your full benefits will resume the day after you notify us.

If you’re an employer

If you choose not to co-operate, we may fine you for non-co-operation.

Penalties for non-co-operation can include an initial non-co-operation penalty. This penalty is equal to 50 per cent of the wage-loss benefits your employee receives and comes into effect seven business days after the date of our written notice to you.

  • If you are still not co-operating 14 calendar days after the initial non-co-operation penalty comes into effect, we can fine you 100 per cent of the cost of wage-loss benefits your employee receives, plus 100 per cent of any costs associated with providing return-to-work training services. This fine can continue for up to 12 months.
  • Small businesses may not have the same resources immediately available to them. If you employ less than 20 people, the initial non-co-operation penalty comes into effect 14 business days after the date of our written notice to you.

If we are satisfied that you are now co-operating, your penalty will stop the day after you notify us.

You can read more about your responsibilities and obligations in Policy # 19-02-02 Responsibilities of the Workplace Parties in Work Reintegration.

Your obligation to re-employ

If you are an employer in a non-construction industry, you have an obligation to re-employ if the following three conditions are met:

  • Your employee has been unable to work as a result of their work-related injury or illness; and
  • Your employee has been continuously employed by you for at least one year before the date of injury and/or illness; and 
  • You regularly employ 20 or more people.

If you are not fulfilling your re-employment obligations, we may need to penalize you.

  • You can be fined up to the equivalent of your employee’s net average earnings for the year before the injury.
  • We may make re-employment payments to your employee or pay them loss-of-earnings benefits (dependent on whether they can perform the essential work duties of their pre-injury job or accommodated work).

What if I’m an employer in the construction industry?

If you are an employer in the construction sector, you have an obligation to re-employ if your injured employee has been unable to work because of a work-related injury and/or illness. Your employee is considered unable to work as a result of the work-related injury/illness if he/she:

  • is absent from work,
  • works less than regular hours, and/or
  • needs accommodated and/or modified work that pays, or normally pays, less than their regular pay.

You are obligated to re-employ your injured or ill employee when you are notified that they are now medically able to perform:

  • the essential duties of their pre-injury job, or
  • suitable construction work, or
  • suitable non-construction work.

Your obligation to re-employ ends when any of the following happens:

  • two years pass from the date of your employee’s injury and/or illness, or
  • one year passes since your employee is medically able to perform the essential duties of their pre-injury job, or
  • your employee declines an offer of work, or
  • your employee reaches age 65.

We may penalize you if, after a warning and written notice, you continue to not offer re-employment. This can include:

  • Issuing a re-employment penalty. The penalty can’t be more than your employee’s net average earnings for the year before the injury/illness.
  • Making re-employment payments to your employee or paying them loss-of-earnings benefits for a maximum of one year.

For more information on obligations and responsibilities for construction sector employers read: 

What if I don’t co-operate with the return-to-work process and don’t offer to re-employ?

If you don’t co-operate in the return-to-work process and don’t make an offer of re-employment at the same time in the same claim, we may only fine you a single penalty. The penalty will be whichever is the higher of the two. If you don’t co-operate and don’t make an offer of re-employment at different times in the same claim, we may fine you more than one penalty.

Related information

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