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Early and Safe Return-to-Work (ESRTW)


The Commission provides return-to-work services and programs to injured workers. The goal is to safely return workers to employment or employability that is comparable to the pre-injury level as soon as possible. With effective return-to-work planning, the human and financial costs associated with workplace injury are significantly reduced.

All employers and workers are obligated under the Act to co-operate in a worker's early and safe return to suitable and available employment with the pre-injury employer. This may involve modified work, easeback to regular work, transfer to an alternate job or trial work to assess the worker’s capability.

Documenting a plan

The employer will complete an Early and Safe Return-to-Work Plan that outlines the agreed upon plan schedule and progression of duties. This form was updated December 2013. If any change occurs, your case manager should be notified immediately.

The early and safe return-to-work plan should also outline the scheduled hours and the hourly wage earned. This information will determine if there is any entitlement to compensation during the return-to-work process.

Employers can submit their early and safe return-to-work plans on-line through connect, the Commission's web portal. If your organization has a connect account, contact your Employer Administrator to get access to this new service. If you don’t know if your organization has a connect account, call 1-800-563-9000 and our Information Officer will provide additional information on the new web service. They can also help you sign up for a connect account.

Re-employment Obligation

Employers who have a legislative duty to modify the workplace in order to accommodate an injured worker’s return to the workplace, are obligated to do so to the extent that it does not cause undue hardship for the employer. This may include work site/job modification or on-the-job skills development for alternate work.

Labour Market Re-entry Assessment and Plan

In cases where the injury employer is unable to accommodate an injured worker or has been found to be non-cooperative in the early and safe return-to-work process, the Commission will facilitate a Labour Market Re-entry assessment for the worker.

The Commission also has an ESRTW facilitator to assist with developing and maintaining a successful ESRTW program.