Handling Disability Management Cases - Communication When The Employee Is On Leave

Best practice tip: Research shows that one of the most important ingredients in the successful management of injury and illness cases is early and sustained contact with the employee by the manager during the leave. This contact allows the employee to stay connected to the workplace and enables the manager to make sure that the employee is getting needed support and assist if there are problems.

  • Initiate contact with the absent employee as soon as is reasonable, given the individual situation.
  • Handle contact in a sensitive manner and in the form that is best for the employee (e.g., email, telephone). This contact should show the employee that the manager is concerned for the employee's well-being, that the employee is missed by the team, and that management is available to the employee for whatever support the employee needs.
  • Encourage the employee to seek and sustain medical attention if the employee has not already done so. Early treatment and rehabilitation can be essential to effective return-to-work processes.
  • Ensure that the employee is aware of the federal government's commitment to providing accommodation and supporting safe and timely return to work.
  • Maintain contact throughout the absence, using the timelines and type of contact (i.e., telephone, email or informal meeting) that is best tailored to the situation and the employee's individual needs.
  • Inform the employee whether his or her position will be backfilled and tell the employee about priority entitlement.
  • With the consent of the employee, encourage co-workers to stay connected and provide support to the employee throughout the employee's absence.
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