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White Paper Points to the Value of Focusing on Employees’ Capabilities Rather than Disabilities
According to the white paper, entitled Controlling the Uncontrollable, successful Return to Work programs pro-actively help disabled employees get back on the job, either in the same or a modified capacity, and in doing so demonstrate to absent employees that they are seen as valued members of the team. At the same time, the employer’s direct and indirect costs of absence are reduced.
The paper acknowledges that while many employers have components of Return to Work programs in place they aren’t achieving the full cost and productivity savings potential from a fully integrated program. “Employers would do well to assess where they are on the Return to Work continuum and determine what next steps they can and should take,” notes
In 2007, roughly two in five (39%) plan sponsors said they were involved in Return to Work initiatives to some extent. Since then, such programs have enjoyed moderate growth and today 45% currently use Return to Work initiatives. Despite the compelling benefits of implementing a formal program, many employers still worry about things like the cost and necessary resource allocation, negative employee reactions and the perceived permanence of light-duty accommodations. “What they don’t realize is that employees also benefit from Return to Work in a way that focuses on what they can do rather than can’t do, with the structure to support that transition,” continues Porter. “These programs give disabled employees the opportunity to retain job skills and bring their income closer to pre-disability levels. Getting back to work sooner increases the morale not only of the affected employee but also of his or her co workers.”
Prudential’s white paper offers an overview of Return to Work programs for benefit decision makers including defining common terminology, identifying potential cost and productivity savings and enumerating the benefits for both employees and employers while debunking common misconceptions about such programs.
For the full report, Controlling the Uncontrollable, visit www.prudential.com.
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