Temporary work assignments (limited duty, full or part-time) will be provided for employees who are unable to perform their regular duties because of illness or injury.
The purpose of this Administrative Procedure is to provide employees the opportunity to remain in the workforce by utilizing the rehabilitative effects of gradual re-entry to full capacity employment.
Medical studies have shown that an early return-to-work program is therapeutic, helps speed the recovery process and prevents the employee from becoming dependent of the disability system. In addition, the employee stays "in touch" with the work environment and fellow employees, which helps to facilitate a smooth transition back to their regular job.
A modified work assignment is any work for which the employee is qualified and which is compatible with the employee's physical restrictions or limitations resulting from illness or injury.
- Modified Work
Modified work shall be restricted to the type of work that is not expected to result in a re-injury and that can be performed within the medical limitation(s) set forth by the attending medical practitioner. Such work assignments shall be made on a case-by-case basis in accordance with the needs of the Division, and shall be consistent with the employee's physical or other restrictions or limitations as indicated by appropriate medical authority.
- In the event the employee, in their judgment is physically unable to perform the modified work assignment, then the Supervisor or Principal will modify work within their physical capabilities as per revised medical practitioner's recommendation.
- The Division, within the limitation set for the attending medical practitioner, shall establish the modified workday and workweek. The workweek will not exceed forty hours.
- All employees, regardless of injury or illness, will be considered for placement in modified work.
- Employees eligible for the modified duty program shall be subject to all of the provisions of Workers' Compensation Regulations and/or the Division's Long Term Disability Plan.
- A Fitness for Work (Form 448-1) must be completed by the attending medical practitioner and returned to the employee's manager or the Head of the Human Resources Department before modified work may begin and clearly state the limitation (s), push/pull, lift, use hands, etc., under which the employee may perform modified work under a Modified Work Agreement (Form 411-1) reviewed and agreed to by the Employee, Supervisor, and Human Resources.
- Upon learning of an employee's light work status and limitations, the employee's supervisors/principals shall immediately review opportunities to restructure a job or collaborate with other managers to find a job to match the employee's physical restrictions and limitations to a modified duty assignment.
- Once an appropriate modified duty assignment is identified, the supervisors/ principals shall consult with the Head of the Human Resources Department to confirm the job's suitability for the employee.
- After the job is determined to be suitable, the Head of the Human Resources Department and the employee's manager shall meet with the employee to explain the modified work program, review the job duties and other related matters, such as time and place to report for work, and answer any questions.
- It shall be explained to the employee that their modified work assignment was selected to be compatible with their physical and other restrictions and limitations based on the recommendation of the physician. The acceptance of such position, and the good faith effort of the employee to perform the work to the best of their ability, is required as a condition of employment.
- The duration of assignments under the modified work program shall be determined on a case-by-case basis in accordance with the physician's professional opinion.
- The Head of the Human Resources Department Responsibilities
- Maintains liaison with, and assists as required, all parties responsible for managing and coordinating this Administrative Procedure.
- Assists with the coordination of the process of matching eligible employees with modified work assignments.
- The Head of the Human Resources Department will notify, as they become aware, the workers' compensation claims examiner(s) or rehabilitation specialist if the employee:
- Returns to work in a modified job program;
- Returns to regular work;
- Refuses a medical practitioner endorsed modified job;
- Fails to report to work on the start date; or
- Fails to show for a medical practitioner's appointment
- Supervisors/Principals’ Responsibilities
- Identifies opportunities within their departments for modified work assignments and drafts appropriate, brief job descriptions, in collaboration with the Head of the Human Resources Department.
- Shall actively support and aggressively participate in this program.
- Employee’s Responsibilities
- It is the employee's responsibility to inform the medical practitioner, that the Division offers a modified work program and to ensure the medical practitioner completes the performance limits agreement or to obtain a note from the medical practitioner that modified work is not beneficial.
- It shall be a condition of employment that, upon notification of a modified duty assignment within their documented limitations and restrictions, employees must make a good faith effort to perform the work to the best of their ability.
- If the employee's condition changes, it is their responsibility to see a medical practitioner and therefore contact the employer with an update of any changes that may occur in disability status.
- Employees placed on modified work will be expected to provide feedback in order to improve the program.
The rate of pay for an employee on a modified work assignment will be determined as per the collective agreements.