Employees returning to work
As a Canadian employer, understanding your obligations to ensure a smooth and safe transition for employees going back to work after an absence is essential.
Employers must be proactive in addressing the challenges of returning employees to the workplace. This means complying with legal obligations, communicating effectively with employees, and accommodating employees where necessary to ensure a safe and successful return to work.
Employer responsibilities regarding employees going back to work
Employers have an obligation to accommodate employees who require support or modification to fulfill their job duties due to a medical condition or disability. This requires you to engage in an interactive process with employees to determine reasonable accommodations, such as modified work schedules or assistive technology. You must also collect and use personal information only for the purpose of preventing workplace injuries and illnesses and must obtain consent from employees before collecting personal information.
Communication and training are also essential. Employers must clearly and regularly communicate with employees about workplace health and safety policies and procedures, and provide training on these policies and procedures, including PPE use and emergency response.
Consequences of not properly accommodating employees returning to work
As an employer, you must ensure that their return-to-work policies and procedures do not discriminate against employees on the basis of a protected ground under human rights legislation, such as age, disability, or gender. Employers must accommodate employees to the point of undue hardship, as required by human rights legislation.
Moreover, employers with unionized employees must comply with any applicable collective agreement provisions related to return to work, including recall rights and layoff provisions.
Do you know your full responsibilities when it comes to supporting employees returning to work?
Let Employer Line answer your compliance questions and explain how employment and labour laws impact your business. Call our complimentary employer helpline to speak with our HR experts about your legal obligations regarding return-to-work at 1-833-247-3650.