The return to work discussion

"I always find return to work discussions scary, but equally I find them useful in establishing how things can be moved forwards and I have found it makes the return to work easier if you plan a strategy with your employer rather than trying to muddle along on your own. It can help identify what caused you to go off work (maybe work or personal related) and if any adjustments can be made at work to make things easier moving forwards long term. I find it helpful to have a think about whether I feel adjustments would be helpful, what these would be, and the reasons they should be made. I also remember that I don’t need to attend this meeting on my own. I usually take my trade union representative, but on occasion have taken a colleague that I trust and will support me.

In some cases, especially when I’ve been off a long time, it might be that I suggest a phased/flexible return to work. Whilst on the one hand I usually reach a point where I want to get back to work, the whole concept of it can be a real sticking point. For example, I might work part time the first few weeks, or agree a later start time to help ease me back into the swing of things."

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