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Workers overview of Return to Work

Preventing workplace injuries and illnesses is the responsibility of everyone in the workplace. When injuries and illnesses do occur, it is important for you and your employer to try to minimize the impacts by focusing on returning you to employment.

Most people who have a workplace injury or illness are able to return to part-time, accommodated or alternate work even while they are still recovering, provided that the work is physically and cognitively suited to the injury or illness and respects the worker’s dignity. In fact, returning to daily work and life activities can actually help an injured worker’s recovery and reduce the chance of long-term disability.

Through our Work Reintegration Program, we're committed to supporting activities that lead to successful return to work outcomes.

What is Work Reintegration?

Work Reintegration is the process of returning to work following a period of disability. The process starts as soon as your employer learns you have had a work-related injury or illness and continues throughout your recovery and period of impairment.

Work Reintegration includes collaboration and co-operation between you and your employer, as well as treating health professionals, union representatives, authorized representatives for you and/or your employer and the WSIB. It focuses on active recovery in the workplace whenever possible, and goal-oriented work transition plans when needed.


Reintegration of workers into decent, safe and sustainable employment.


Employment for the worker.


The Work Reintegration Program is built on six key principles.

1. Maintain the employment relationship, wherever possible, between the worker and the injury employer, with all parties having a shared obligation.

2. Reintegrate workers into decent, safe and sustainable work, maintaining the dignity of the worker.

3. Provide effective and meaningful input and choice on the part of the worker.

4. Maintain high standards for services provided by WSIB staff and contracted parties to ensure effective, quality services that achieve desired employment outcomes.

5. Manage the costs of the program.

6. Ensure workers are fairly compensated for wage loss, recognizing the difference between pre-injury earnings and post-injury earning ability.


New Work Reintegration policies and a NEER policy came into effect on July 15, 2011. The policies were developed to support the program’s vision and principles. The primary focus of the new policies is to return you back to work with your injury employer to the extent possible.

Review our additional resources to learn more about these policies:

Related info:

Relevant Research Studies

We also conduct research or find third-party studies relevant to the prevention, treatment, compensation and our approach to the case management of workplace injury or illness.

Title of study Time period
Better at Work 2012
Compass: Guiding you to a healthy and safe workplace
WSIB@work seasonal newsletter