Top 10 tips for Human Resources Professionals

  1. Make sure you are familiar with the employee’s work environment.
  2. Ensure that the supervisor (and anyone else involved) understands their responsibilities relating to return to work and that everyone has the skills and knowledge to put their responsibilities into practice.
  3. Maintain (or organise for) an appropriate level of regular contact with the employee and discuss return to work as soon as possible.
  4. Avoid getting caught up in the issue of whether an illness is ‘real’ or not.
  5. Consider the approach to managing return to work that you would take if an employee had a physical illness, as many of the principles will be the same for a mental health problem.
  6. Agree with the employee exactly who else, if anyone, might need to know about their mental health problem, and what information they need to be provided with.
  7. With written consent from the employee, contact (or organise for contact with) the employee’s healthcare provider.
  8. Make sure to identify perceived barriers and prioritise solutions for a safe and early return to work.
  9. Develop a clear, written return-to-work plan and ensure the employee is actively involved in its development.
  10. Managing return to work after mental illness can take its toll. Make sure you are able to access support when you need it.