a designated healthcare clinic immediately following the injury. The physician
knows in advance that there is a Stay-at-Work program in place and will provide
a functional physical capacity analysis for
the injured employee. The idea is for the
employee to return to work in a temporary position that meets the physical limitations criteria requested by the physician.
Depending on the injury, this approach
can result in no lost time from work.
Eventually, the employee returns to full
capacity. This desired outcome benefits
the employee who has a sustained income
during the injury period. It benefits the
employer with an improved experience
modifier, which is the adjustment of annual premium based on previous loss experience (other work-site injuries).
An employee who returns to work with
full capacity improves the employer’s experience modification factor over time.
A factor that drops below the average
for the employer’s industry delivers a
competitive edge to capture new business. Additionally, there is the potential
to reduce employee turnover because the
workforce knows the employer has their
best interests (both financial and medical) in mind, which creates trust and loyalty between the parties.
Despite the obvious benefits, not everyone embraces the Stay-at-Work concept.
Even when Workers’ Compensation experience modification factors are 25 or 50
percent above the norm for their industry
classification, some employers balk. They
might oppose having employees working
at less than a 100 percent capacity, or they
don’t have light or modified duty jobs to
offer. Employers of unionized businesses
are sometimes concerned about labor
If an employer offers a safe place to work,
It’s a universal truth that the longer an employee is absent from work after a job-related injury, the harder it is to return to work at all. Workers’ Compensation costs for the employer are higher as well
including those related to business expenses such as lost productivity,
overtime, decreased morale, increased premiums, and the costs of
hiring and training a new employee to replace the injured employee.
Easing Injured Employees
Back to Recovery
An on-the-job injury is the proverbial
rock-and-hard-place scenario that spawned
Stay-at-Work programs. If planned and
executed correctly, Stay-at-Work (and its
close cousin, Return-to-Work) provide
paths to bring injured workers back to
light-duty or transitional work quickly
and safely. Both are crucial in controlling
Workers’ Compensation expenses.
Some employers aggressively develop
innovative ways to minimize costs re-
lated to worker injuries. Others simply
shrug their shoulders at the current in-
surance landscape, figure they have to
pay what they owe, and grudgingly write
the checks. It doesn’t have to be that way.
For employers with significant Workers’
Compensation expenditures, a Stay-at-Work program is a proactive way to reduce direct labor expenses.
How a Stay-at-Work
If a company has a Stay-At-Work program in place before an injury takes place,
the employee sees the company doctor or