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Employee Rehabilitation: Trade Secrets

18 November 2008

Employee Rehabilitation: Trade Secrets

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When disaster strikes, getting employees back to work is an essential part of the recovery process, so employers need to invest time and effort in training managers and staff to deal with traumatic situations.  When the Welfare Reform Act came into effect last month, it replaced Incapacity Benefit with Employment Support Allowance (ESA), requiring employees deemed fit to work in some capacity to continue their employment as a condition of receiving their full entitlement.

Why rehabilitate?

More often than not, employees in need of rehabilitation require help to overcome a fear of the workplace – be that the machine that hurt them, the customer that threatened them or the manager that bullied them.

Left unchecked, these fears can spiral into serious mental health and absence issues, with the likelihood of the employee returning to work reduced to less than 50% if they are not rehabilitated within six weeks.

Where someone has suffered from an accident or serious health concern, such as cancer or a heart attack, a failure to maintain communications with the employee and plan a successful return to work can lead to strong feelings of isolation. In some cases, once their physical recovery is complete, depression or anxiety about actually returning to work may prove even more debilitating for the employee than their original illness.

Either way, the cost of supporting an absent employee, finding and training temporary staff, dealing with negative feedback from their colleagues who have been left to pick up the slack or deal with strained customer relations, is far greater than the simple psychological interventions typically required to successfully rehabilitate someone back into work.

Read full article on Personnel Today