How you and your employer plan for, and manage, your return to work can make all the difference. Understanding how your employer will work with you to develop a Return to Work Plan and support you throughout the return to work process can help you get back to work safely and readjust to working life.
If you’re off work for seven days or less, your employer shouldn’t ask you to provide medical evidence that you were unwell or injured. However, they can ask you to provide proof and you should be prepared to show your employer your fit note (sick note) or complete a self-certification form when you return to work.
Preparing for a return to work interview
The period before you return to work after ill health or injury can be a happy but nervous time. There’ll be a lot to take in and talk about as you adjust to a new routine and being back in the workplace. Your employer should make time to talk to you to check you are coping well and are not feeling overwhelmed. This could be an informal catch-up in the weeks before you return or a formal return to work interview in the days after.
Understanding your Return to Work Plan
Before you’re ready to return to work, you should start to consider how and when you’re going to return and what changes need to be made to make it safe for you to do so. Your employer, GP and/or occupational health provider can offer you advice and work with you to develop a Return to Work Plan that will take into account how long you’ve been off work and what adjustments need to be made to support you.