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Work Reintegration Program Background

The new Work Reintegration Program will continue to evolve to meet the changing needs of workers and employers. We will constantly monitor and evaluate program performance, solicit stakeholder feedback and comments, and make adjustments to the program when required. This will ensure the program is delivering improved RTW outcomes and quality retraining at a reasonable cost.

Read Work Reintegration: A new approach

Sound Assessments for Workers

  • The new Work Reintegration Program provides injured workers with a sound assessment and, if needed, high-quality, credible training that will -- to the best of the WSIB’s ability -- equip them for return to work
  • We will ensure quality work transition services and cost management by using public colleges and registered private career colleges with MTCU-approved vocational programs. Injured workers will choose which school best meets their needs
    • we recently reached a historic agreement with 24 public colleges in Ontario to provide increased access to academic upgrading and vocational programs for injured workers who receive work transition services and to provide them with personalized academic advice to increase their success rate

Benefits to Workers/Employers

  • Early assessments and support to the workplace parties
  • Increased input and choice for workers
  • New pathways to employment
  • Better integration and timing of health care and RTW interventions
  • Better value and higher quality services for injured workers and employers
  • Expansion of placement/retention support services
  • Increased accountability at every level

Improved Outcomes

  • The new Work Reintegration approach eliminates the counter-productive practice differentiating RTW from LMR. This separation between RTW and LMR generally inferred that the worker's relationship with the employer had to be severed before retraining services could begin.
  • Eliminating this practice will help workers and employers maintain their employment relationship and ensure workers get the services they need, when they need them. The new program features a strong focus on work retention with the injury employer, oversight by the WSIB of retraining services for injured workers, making greater use of the public education system, increased worker input and choice into their vocational goals, and aligned employer incentives.

The Need for Change

  • The former Labour Market Re-entry Program was not working
  • The number and level of locked-in Loss of Earnings (LOE) awards were rising
  • Workers raised numerous and persistent complaints about the quality of training and education programs and their lack of credibility with employers
  • Workers felt they were funneled into programs they didn’t want and didn’t result in jobs
  • Retraining programs through external vendors did not produce desired results 
  • Every year the WSIB referred an average of 8,000 workers for LMR  services - that’s 22 new workers each and every day - but only five of those 22 workers were employed following an average 21-month program
  • Under the LMR program, 75 per cent of the training and education expenditure went to just 10 secondary service providers that were all privately owned, most of whom were not registered with the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities, and none under contract with the WSIB

Former Labour Market Re-entry (LMR) Program

  • Section 42 of the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act establishes the mandate for the WSIB’s LMR program. The Labour Market Re-entry (LMR) system was created in 1998 to help injured workers return to work and reduce the impact of the injuries on their earning ability. LMR services were outsourced to external LMR Primary Service Providers.
  • In 2008, the WSIB implemented a new Service Delivery Model with a strong focus on RTW. RTW Specialist and Disability Prevention Specialist roles were introduced to provide RTW support in the workplace. However, LMR remained disconnected from the RTW process.
  • Initiatives to significantly improve LMR Program administration, accountability, service quality and cost effectiveness failed to resolve the underlying causes of concern.  Despite numerous efforts to adjust service levels and increase oversight of external LMR Primary Service Providers, stakeholders continued to raise concerns about LMR case management, and LMR outcomes did not improve.
  • To find the key drivers for these issues and identify solutions, the WSIB conducted a comprehensive internal review of LMR and RTW, and commissioned a third-party Value for Money Audit of the LMR Program. Both of these initiatives found that there was a need for significant changes to the WSIB’s approach to supporting injured workers as they re-enter the workforce. The WSIB responded by developing the Work Reintegration Program with stakeholder input.


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