Restrictive Duty: Work During Recovery

Keeping employees active and engaged in work during recovery is an important part of medical treatment. Restrictive duty allows employees to continue to work at a medically appropriate level of activity, and allows employees to safely take part in the company in a role that benefits both the employee and the organization.

A Safe Return to Work

During the restrictive duty transition period, safe return to work is the goal, as the employee gradually progresses in the assignment, building on strengths and developing the capabilities to eventually return to their previous position, if appropriate.

While restrictive duty assignments are typically short-term, they may last for a few months as the employee continues to successfully recover. Restrictive duty assignments have many benefits. Specifically, they:

  • Reintroduce work activity at a safe level
  • Protect the employee from re-injury as they continue in their recovery and re-conditioning
  • Prepare the employee for eventual return to work at full duty
  • Help injured employees stay active as their condition improves
  • Can provide variety and challenge according to level of worker capability
  • Keep employees engaged with coworkers
  • Allow employees to stay involved and contribute their knowledge and skills
  • Help employees recover more quickly and more fully

In addition to building morale by allowing your employees to gradually resume work responsibilities in the company, restrictive duty helps employers reduce workers’ compensation related expenses, and allows employees to continue to earn income.

Defining Restrictive Duty

Each employee’s recovery process is unique, and each company has various roles and duties that may match an employee’s needs during this transitional period. To help employers design appropriate restrictive duty assignments, Corporate Care will provide restrictive duty recommendations. These recommendations will indicate safe levels of activity to help human resources or managers determine the roles and duties each employee can safely perform during recovery.