Your employees are your most important asset. By facilitating the earliest return of injured workers to the workplace, you are setting up both your employees and your business for success. Providing return-to-work (RTW) programs allows you to retain valued employees and enhance the productivity of your workforce. RTW programs are an essential part of a business’ strategy for long-term workers’ compensation cost containment.
What is an RTW program?
RTW programs are a means of returning injured employees back to active employment as soon as possible, while allowing for job modifications or alterations that consider each worker’s unique injury. By accommodating the restrictions imposed by your employee’s doctor, you are facilitating the safe and timely return of workers to the job, while minimizing their number of lost work days.
Monetarily, the largest benefit of RTW program is the reduction in costs of workers’ compensation benefits. The longer an employee remains out on disability, the more money is being paid to them through the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) and the more experienced modification points your company accrues, which translates into higher premiums.
In the first 12 weeks of missed work, the BWC pays temporary total disability (TTD) benefits at a rate of 72 percent of your injured employee’s full weekly wage, subject to statewide maximums for the injury year. After the first 12 weeks, BWC may pay 66 2/3 percent of an injured worker’s average weekly wage, based on the employee’s last 52 weeks of income prior to injury.
Once back in the workplace, your employee will begin drawing their regular salary again, so you’ll no longer be racking up costs with the BWC. Your employees benefit by drawing their regular salary, rather than a fraction of it through the BWC. These two factors make RTW programs a win-win financially for both you and your employees.
RTW and Sheakley
Your MCO serves both the best interest of your company and your employees. Having a partner in your corner that you trust to look out for the best interests of your employees while returning them to work quickly and keeping your workers’ compensation costs down is vital to the success of your business. An MCO partner like Sheakley UniComp can guide you and your workers through the often confusing world of workers’ compensation, helping your employees return to work quickly and safely.
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