If the employee consents, the Return to Work plan will be shared with their GP and their employer. The employee can ask for specific parts of the plan to be removed before it is shared. The plan will cover a specified period of time and will state whether an employee is ‘fit for work’ or ‘may be fit for work’ subject to their employer being able to follow certain advice and recommendations. Where appropriate, the plan will include a timetable for progressing interventions and for returning to work, as well as advice for the employee and further sources of assistance.
While all parties are ‘encouraged to act upon the recommendations’ it is not mandatory for the employer to implement them. Businesses will need to decide if the adjustments are reasonable and affordable. However, businesses should be aware of their obligations under the Equality Act 2010 to make reasonable adjustments for employees who have a disability and the recommendations of the Return to Work plan will be a consideration for Employment Tribunals in deciding whether any proposed adjustments are in fact reasonable.
The employee’s case manager at FFW will contact the employee at an arranged point to check if their plan is on course and will contact the employee again shortly after the return to work date to check on progress. Where an employee is not fit to return in the timescales estimated in their plan, their case manager will consider whether a further assessment is necessary and whether any changes to the plan are required.
How does all of this affect your business? Find out tomorrow in the next instalment of our Fit for Work series…