Step 4 of 6 in getting ready to return to work:
Patient reports and research show that workplace accommodation plays a large part in supporting return to work.1 2 3 Among other things, allowing for a graduated return to work and flexible work hours can often help the employee stay at or return to work.4
While the capacity for types of accommodations at each employment setting and job role is unique, here are some job accommodation ideas for cancer survivors. These accommodations may need to be tailored to the individual worksite. If all stakeholders (employer, employee, and if applicable, union representative, co-workers) are open to looking at creative solutions, finding suitable accommodations will be more successful. Often, return to work coordinators, disability managers, human resources professionals and occupational health advisors (available in house or privately contracted) have the expertise to guide the accommodations process. Occupational therapists, and in some cases vocational rehabilitation specialists (available within the healthcare system, funded through insurance providers or privately contracted) can also provide expertise.
When an employer considers options for an employee who is planning to return to work, they usually consider the options in a certain order. If the employee is unable to return to their old job without assistance, these are common options that employers may consider:
- Can the job be modified temporarily?
- Can the job be modified permanently?
- Can some of the tasks be re-assigned?
- Can the employee move into another job at the same workplace?
- Can the employee be trained for another job at the same workplace?