The most beneficial way of supporting an employee back into work after a long period of sickness is to firstly set up a return to work meeting with the individual. This should be arranged prior to them re-commencing on their first shift.
This meeting will give you the opportunity to assess how the employee is at the moment, any medications or health and safety concerns that as an employer you need to be aware of and support they may need on returning to work can be discussed during this meeting.
This meeting will ensure any support and adjustments are put in place prior to the first day so that the individual can feel supported in full when commencing their first shift. Any risk assessments that might be required to be carried out can be done so at this meeting.
One of the possible outcomes of this meeting is the potential to assess whether an Occupational Health Assessment may be of benefit. These are independent and impartial detailed fitness to work assessments which will go into further detail regarding the job description and the employee’s current capabilities given the medical condition.
The report will make recommendations regarding possible adjustments in the work place and if these are advisable and reasonable to implement, for example, more rest breaks may be appropriate, altered hours to accommodate medication side effects etc.
Excerpt from The Irish News, read the full article here