Maintaining communication with the absent worker is important and will help you in assessing whether the worker is fit / unfit to return
to work. Employers should apply existing policies and procedures to encourage workers back to work, after a longer absence due to COVID-19, in the same way that return to work following any long illness is managed.
Employers should establish whether workers, who are returning to work following COVID-19 infection, are fully fit to return to their pre-COVID-19 roles and responsibilities. In some instances, workers may be unable to resume their pre-COVID-19 roles and responsibilities and may require both transition arrangements or altered responsibilities. This can be done in line with the organisation’s existing policies and procedures. Employers should make workers aware of worker assistance programmes and or wellbeing initiatives that have been put in place by the employer, that may help workers adjust to returning to work after absence due to COVID-19.
On the return to work, the employer should inform the worker of any relevant changes in the COVID-19 response plan made at the workplace, e.g. specific COVID-19 infection prevention and control measures or any other changes to work practices. It is expected that there is a regular update issued to staff of relevant health advice to workers on COVID-19 in the workplace on an on-going basis.
In the event an employee is unable to return to their pre Covid-19 roles/responsibilities, employers may wish to consider the following options: