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Return-to-work process

If one of your workers has been injured in an accident or develops an occupational disease at your job site, you will play an important role in their return-to-work process.

Your responsibilities
The Workers' Compensation Act states:

"No employer shall dismiss, suspend, lay off, penalize, discipline or discriminate against a worker because the worker suffered a personal injury by accident in respect of which the worker is, in the opinion of WorkSafeNB, entitled to make application for compensation." Subsection 42.1(2)


Pre-accident employment
An employer:

  • With between 10 and 20 workers must hold the position the worker held immediately before the accident for a period of one year, and permit the injured worker to resume work in that position.
  • With 20 or more workers must hold the position the worker held immediately before the accident for a period of two years, and permit the injured worker to resume work in that position.


Modified employment
If, in the opinion of WorkSafeNB, the worker is unfit to perform the pre-accident duties, the employer must permit the worker to resume work in a suitable position that may become available, with no loss of seniority or benefits. Note: The rules are different for workers doing construction work in the construction industry.

Disability management program
 If one of your workers has suffered a disability as a result of a workplace accident, you may be required to participate in WorkSafeNB's disability management program, as part of that worker's return-to-work plan.

Disability management is a program designed to minimize the impact of the disability, which often hinders the worker's ability to return to safe and productive work activities. It is not about managing the disability or the person with the disability. Instead, it is designed to involve employers in an effort to accommodate the needs of injured or ill workers.

Alternate employment
If, in the opinion of WorkSafeNB, the worker is unfit to perform the pre-accident duties, and the employer cannot accommodate the worker in a suitable modified position, WorkSafeNB will work with the worker to find alternate employment.

Training-on-the-Job Program
In an effort to find an injured worker a new job, WorkSafeNB rehabilitation specialists might recommend a training-on-the-job scenario, to help the worker develop new skills in a workplace environment.

The Training-on-the-Job Program is designed to reintroduce the injured worker to regular employment, and give them the opportunity to learn the tasks associated with a new job, while providing the employer with a low-risk introduction to a potential new employee.







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