Employers who are conscientious about the cost of the workers compensation insurance coverage know the importance of having an established Return to Work program. (See our Transitional Duty Policies and RTW programs). The employers who provide light duty or modified duty work for the injured employees lower the overall cost of workers compensation through lower claim cost. Return to Work programs result in the reduction of the overall amount of time the employees are off work, a reduction in the overall cost of physical rehabilitation and a reduction in the overall cost of medical care. The lower claim cost results in lower workers compensation premiums.
Many employers have tried Return to Work programs, only to give up as the modification of the employee’s regular duties is often difficult to accomplish while maintaining any sense of productivity. Employers are often reluctant to pay employees the regular wages if the employee is not accomplishing anything. The cost of wages paid to a totally unproductive employee often exceeds the increased cost of workers compensation.
If the rate of pay from the charity exceeds what the employee would have made on the job, no temporary partial disability payments are owed to the employee.
The light duty placement companies do several things to ensure the success of the temporary duty process. They will interview the prospective employer to verify the job requirements are within the work restrictions given by the medical provider, prepare the employee for the job interview if one is required by the temporary employer, provide directions to the temporary employer, verify attendance, follow-up with both the temporary employer and the employee to be sure both are comfortable with the new working situation, and when necessary, review the new job with the employee’s physician.
Author Rebecca Shafer, JD, President of Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. is a national expert in the field of workers compensation. She is a writer, speaker, and publisher. Her expertise is working with employers to reduce workers compensation costs, and her clients include airlines, healthcare, printing/publishing, pharmaceuticals, retail, hospitality, and manufacturing. She is the author of the #1 selling book on cost containment, Workers Compensation Management Program: Reduce Costs 20% to 50%. Contact: RShafer@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com.
WORKERS COMP MANAGEMENT MANUAL: www.WCManual.com
MODIFIED DUTY CALCULATOR: www.LowerWC.com/transitional-duty-cost-calculator.php
Do not use this information without independent verification. All state laws vary. You should consult with your insurance broker or agent about workers comp issues.
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