Early Intervention and Return to Work Program for B.C. government employees

Last updated: December 13, 2019

The Early Intervention and Return to Work Program promotes intervening at the earliest possible opportunity to support an employee to stay at work, or, if the employee is off work on sick leave, to return to work as soon as possible.

This program puts you and your supervisor in touch with a team of occupational health nurses, injury recovery specialists and disability case specialists. Your supervisor and the team are all focused on what you can do, not what you cannot do.

Working together, you'll create a plan to return to work safely, perhaps with modified duties, a gradual return to work schedule, or some other temporary accommodation.

The program provides resources that encourage rehabilitation and a safe, sustainable and timely return to work, and helps you stay connected with your workplace and your colleagues by minimizing your time away.

It's been shown that employees who have a gradual and early return to work while they continue their recovery enjoy a more complete medical recovery and have fewer long-term complications.

Our goal as an employer is to have a safe, timely and sustainable return to work program, regardless of whether your absence is work related or not.

From a rehabilitative perspective and in descending priority, the general goals of the Early Intervention and Return to Work Program are:

  • Assist the employee to stay at work with job modifications rather than be absent
  • Early return to employee’s occupation with modified duties and/or hours
  • Early return to temporary alternate occupation with modified duties and/or hours
  • Re-training and referral to alternate employment if permanent medical restrictions exist
  • Ongoing benefits if there's no option to return to gainful employment

Your responsibilities

  • Report absences to your supervisor as soon as possible and let them know when you'll likely be able to return to work
  • Think about what you can do while you recover. Discuss options for modifying duties and/or hours with your supervisor when you're able to work in some capacity
  • Provide information about your medical condition, expected return to work, and restrictions and limitations, by completing a doctor’s certificate when requested. (Medical information is not provided to your supervisor; this is confidential and sent separately to the nurses at Occupational Health and Rehabilitation)
  • Fully participate in recommended medical treatment programs
  • Participate in and cooperate with rehabilitation programs and plans designed to improve your condition. This can include a gradual return to work, with or without modified duties
  • Stay in contact with your supervisor and others involved in the case, as required (occupational health nurse, injury recovery specialist or disability case specialist)
  • Maintain your health so you can attend work regularly and consistently