june 2015                                                     FRANÇAIS

Return to Work


The Workers' Safety and Compensation Commission (WSCC) knows how important it is for all workers and their families to return home safely from their job. Our vision is to eliminate workplace diseases and injuries, to create a North that is accident-free. While we work towards this goal, together we all can help those who suffer workplace injuries get back to their jobs, their commitments, and their lives.

A safe and timely Return to Work (RTW) helps injured workers with their recovery and rehabilitation. The longer injured workers are away from the workplace, the more difficult it is to return to productive employment. 

RTW is a process that helps injured workers remain at work or get back to suitable work as soon as safe and medically possible. It may involve working modified duties, alternate duties, or graduated hours while recovering. The primary goal is to get injured workers back to their pre-injury health and job position.


Use this very common action as an example: imagine working in an office setting; a large box of supplies is delivered and instead of getting a cart and an extra set of hands to help, you lift the box alone. The box is heavier than you think, and you strain your back. This injury requires seeing a medical doctor and undergoing rehabilitation. The RTW process includes responsibilities for you, your employer, the medical professional, and the WSCC. Everyone works collaboratively to decide the best option for your recovery. In this example, the injured worker collaborates with their employer and health care provider to create a plan that alternates between sitting and standing tasks. This plan is monitored and relayed to the WSCC to ensure it alleviates pain, assists in recovery and rehabilitation and helps the worker to continue with meaningful work. 


Everyone benefits from a safe and timely return to work. Employers retain skilled employees, reduce re-hiring and re-training costs, and promote a strong safety culture. Workers maintain financial benefits (pension, employment insurance, medical and dental plans, pre-injury earning, etc.), increase their overall morale, maintain their connection to the workplace, and protect their employability. Best of all it helps with recovery and rehabilitation, preventing further disability.

WSCC Claims Services staff assist both the employer and worker navigate the road to recovery. In addition, the WSCC has a Return to Work Specialist available to provide advice or assistance with developing and implementing return to work processes. The WSCC also has a number of RTW resources for both employers and workers; below is a brief description of each:

Return to Work Resources 

Passport to Recovery:

This pocket-sized booklet for injured workers requiring WSCC benefits outlines the claims process including the Return to Work roles and responsibilities of the WSCC, Healthcare providers, the employer, and the injured worker.


Road to Recovery Poster:

A helpful tool for both workers and employers, the poster illustrates different paths to returning to work or remaining at work.


Return to Work for Injured Workers Brochure:

This brochure provides a general overview on the benefits of RTW, the process, and important contact information. 


Employer's Guide to Return to Work:

A RTW program helps injured workers return to suitable work as soon as medically possible. This guide details how to develop and implement a return to work program for your organization including sample templates and forms. These forms and templates are also available as editable documents on the WSCC website.



Training courses are available through our partners, Northern Territories Federation of Labour and Northern Safety Associationto help with RTW and other training needs.


The Basic Return to Work Process 

       Get first aid/medical aid:
  • Injured worker gets first aid or medical aid;
  • Employer provides transportation to nearest medical centre, if needed; and
  • Healthcare provider completes WSCC Functional Abilities form.

2.       Report injury:

  • Worker reports injury to employer;
  • Employer completes and submits the WSCC Employer's Report of Injury form and provides a copy to the worker; and
  • Worker completes and submits the WSCC Worker's Report of Injury form.

3.       Communicate and collaborate:

  • Employer and worker communicate as soon as possible after the injury occurs and throughout recovery; and
  • Employer and worker contact WSCC regularly to share updates.

4.       Identify suitable work and create a RTW plan:

  • Employer and worker discuss the functional abilities and prognosis with the WSCC to identify suitable work, and together develop a RTW plan;
  • Employer and worker document and sign-off on the RTW plan;
  • Submit the plan to WSCC; and
  • Worker returns to their workplace.

5.       Implement and monitor RTW Plan:

  • Employer and worker check in with each other to monitor the RTW Plan; and
  • Employer and worker provide updates to the WSCC every two weeks. Discuss and address any concerns.

6.       RTW completion:

  • Worker successfully completes the RTW Plan and returns to their pre-injury job; or
  • Worker reaches maximum recovery and requires permanent accommodation.
This information will be available soon in Inuktitut and Inuinnaqtun on our website.

Want to know more?

Interested in more information about Return to Work, or would you like to receive Return to Work resources? Check out our website, or email us! We'd love to hear from you!

wscc.nt.ca   /  1.800.661.0792   *   wscc.nu.ca  /  1.877.404.4407