Is a Return to Work Program Smart for Business?
Business owners know that happy employees are more productive employees. Part of being content at work is knowing that you, the employee, have rights and benefits such as work flexibility, group health insurance options, and what is called a return to work program. A return to work program allows injured employees to return to work sooner, while their injuries are still healing, and to work within their physician’s restrictions. These types of programs are good for you because it saves on expenses, and good for your injured employee because it means they can start earning their wages again.
Reasons to Invest in a Return to Work Program
According to the Texas Department of Insurance, the following are good reasons for a business to have a return to work program:
- Positive Impact on Company Morale: You will have better morale company-wide if co-workers realize that an injured worker can return to work. This is because all employees will realize that their employer sees them as valuable to the company. When employees know that they are valued, everyone benefits.
- Employee Retention: Workers will be more loyal to the company, motivated to do their best, and stay with the company if a return to work policy is well designed and communicated. It can easily take 13 months to train a new employee, and it actually costs 1.5 times the original employee’s salary to train a new employee. One of the primary reasons that businesses fail is high employee turnover rates.
- Reduces the Workers’ Compensation Claim Costs: You can reduce a variety of costs associated with an injured worker by having an early return to work policy. Costs that can be reduced include those of workers’ compensation premiums, paying overtime, hiring and paying temporary workers, and administrative expenses.
- Maintain Productivity: Your employees are experienced, skilled workers, and by returning them to work sooner, you maintain productivity. You not only prevent losing a valuable commodity (your employee), but you also ensure that they continue doing the valuable work, albeit less of it for the time being, sooner after their injury. Instead of taking a long leave of absence, during which their skills will grow rusty and projects will be forgotten or stalled, a return to work program will ensure that your injured employee is back to his or her normal self sooner rather than later.
According to the Texas Department of Insurance, the longer your injured employee is away from work, the higher your absences, workers’ compensation costs, and staff turnover will be. An early return to work program can quickly solve these problems in a mutually beneficial way.
A Houston Employment Attorney can Help Today
If you have questions about whether or not an early return to work program is right for your company, you should call the law offices of Michael P. Fleming & Associates to speak with one of our experienced Houston attorneys. We can help you make the decision and implement the policy that is right for you.