Every year, thousands of us suffer injuries so serious that we’re forced to stay away from work. In most cases, the affected professions are the physically demanding ones, like building work. But in some cases, the injury is so severe that even office workers must stay away from their workplaces.
Whatever your particular case might be, returning to work can be an awkward transition. This is especially so if the transition in question isn’t managed appropriately. Here, we’ll look at some steps you might take in order make your return to work go as smoothly as possible.
Keep your Employer Informed
Your employer will need to plan for your absence, bringing in relief staff and spreading your workload accordingly. But they’ll also need to plan for your presence. To do this, they’ll need to be kept apprised of developments in your condition. This means keeping lines of communication open. You needn’t bombard them with daily updates, but the occasional short email can work wonders when it comes to planning for the future.
If you’ve suffered a particularly debilitating injury, then your workplace might need to make reasonable adjustments in order to physically accommodate you. This might mean installing an elevator for easy wheelchair access, or it might mean simply moving your office to a downstairs location. Visually impaired workers might need braille signs, or specialised computer hardware, to make themselves optimally productive. Depending on the severity of the injury, it may be impossible to fully restore an employee’s ability to work, but a little investment can go a very long way.
Legally speaking, your employer is compelled to make these changes only if a failure to do so would put you at a ‘substantial disadvantage’ compared with the rest of the workforce – but most good employers will be willing to make changes even if they’re not compelled to.
You’ll find the relevant section of law under sections 20 and 21 of the Equality Act 2010. Under this legislation, employees who don’t make changes could find themselves guilty of discrimination.
Get Up to Speed
At the same time, things will have been going on in the workplace while you weren’t around. If you’re going to hit the ground running (figuratively speaking), then you’ll need to keep yourself aware of any developments. This doesn’t just include the way the workload is distributed, and the working practices that have been adopted; it also means the social dynamic of the workplace.
What about Negligence?
If you believe that you’ve been a victim of medical negligence during your time off, then your transition back to work might have been delayed, or otherwise compromised. Medical Negligence Solicitors will be able to recover any losses on your behalf.