Employers and employees alike can benefit from encouraging employees who have been injured on the job to get well and return to work as soon as possible. Providing a light duty job can aid in the recovery process and save money for the employer – all while ensuring that employee continues to earn their full wages. Transitional work focuses on what an injured employee "can do" rather than what they "cannot do" so that these workers can remain actively employed.
There is a significant number of benefits to the employer for providing a light duty work to an injured employee. These include:
- Avoiding a lost wage claim (also sometimes referred to as a time loss claim). Lost wage claims are what affect a business's Experience Modification Rate and cause Workers' Compensation rates to increase.
- Retaining a trained and experienced employee. This eliminates the time and money spent recruiting, hiring, and training a replacement worker.
- Decreasing the amount of time an injured worker is off work. The longer an employee is away from the job, the greater the likelihood the employee will not return to work.
- Maintaining regular communication with the injured worker. Ongoing communication with injured employees builds a stronger relationship between the worker and the company.
- Reducing the potential for fraudulent claims and abuse of the Workers' Compensation system. Injured employees are not given the option of staying at home and collecting money.
Injured employees who return to work with a light duty job benefit as well. These benefits include:
- Earning their regular wage instead of lesser temporary disability payments. This eliminates fear and concern that he/she will not be able to support themself or their family.
- Aiding the injured worker in staying active. Studies have shown that workers recover faster when they're at work and engaged.
- Developing a continued sense of job security and value. An injured worker is reassured of their value to company and its commitment to their speedy recovery.
- Maintaining regular contact with coworkers. Interaction with coworkers maintains morale and helps avoid depression caused by isolation from the workplace.