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Why is Having a Return to Work Program Important?

The importance of Return to Work Programs

According to the Job Accommodation Network, an injured worker is less likely to return to work, the longer he or she is on leave. Additionally, the U.S. Census Bureau and Bureau of Labor Statistics have estimated the cost of absenteeism to exceed $40 billion annually. The cost of these employees being out of work comes out of the indemnity payments on insurance and is a large driver of worker’s compensation premiums.  Implementing a Return to Work program, also known as a light-duty program, can allow an employee to be able to continue working while recovering from their work-related injury. Although this takes accommodation from both the employer and employee, it can greatly reduce the company’s expenses. The benefits of a Return to Work (RTW) program for employers include: 

  • A productive workforce. 
  • Engaging the injured employee. 
  • Reduce costs due to overtime pay as other workers fill in. 
  • Reduced administrative costs associated with filling the position with temporary help. 
  • Controlled workers’ compensation claim costs. 
  • Reduced Short-term disability (STD) and long-term (LTD) costs. 
  • Reduction in absenteeism and days away from work.  

Here are some additional statistics on Return to Work programs: 

  • If an employee is out for more than 12 weeks, there is a 50% chance of ever returning to work. 
  • At 6 months out of work, they are only 20% likely to ever return. 
  • After 1 year, only 1% of employees will have a chance of returning to work.  


If you do not feel as though a Return to Work program will work for you, there are still options out there. You can have employees volunteer or even do some work from home. An important factor here is keeping the employee engaged and loyal to your business. Reach out to us or your carrier for more information on how a Return to Work program can benefit your business. 


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Worthy Insurance is a niche broker with a focus on providing insurance placement and risk management services to the Healthcare, Manufacturing, Social Service, and Main Street business communities. Here at Worthy Insurance, we love to provide you with exciting and fun articles to learn more about insurance and how it impacts your life. Visit our other blogs to find more information.

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