Guidelines for Modified Duty / Return to Work Program
The University is committed to providing a work environment that reasonably accommodates the special needs of its employees as a result of injury or illness. The University recognizes that when disability does arise, modified activities and early mobilization are key to quick recovery.

A key priority of this process is to attempt to return employees to their former job, or work that is consistent with that to which they were performing prior to the injury or illness. In many cases, this will be possible without any modification to the job or work environment. While injury or illness may result in the need for medical treatment or therapy, a full return to regular work activities is often possible.

In some cases, an employee may require temporary accommodations during the period of recuperation from injury or illness, until a return to regular work activities is possible. In these situations, the University explores reasonable transitional return-to-work opportunities, which may include workstation modifications and/or changes to the work activities. The following options will be considered:

1. Temporarily modifying the tasks of the employee’s usual job, for example:

a)    changing work organization demands or methods;
b)    providing assistive devices;
c)    physically changing the work area or equipment; and
d)    providing additional assistance.

2. Temporarily providing an alternate job, task, function or combination of functions or tasks.

3. Temporarily modifying the hours of work to allow for work hardening (i.e. graduated return-to-work).
 
Situations may arise where the employee will not be capable of returning to regular work activities due to the nature of the injury or illness. If it is unlikely that the employee will ever be capable of returning to their former position, consideration will be given to:

1. Permanently modifying the tasks required in the employee’s usual job.

2. Permanently providing an alternate job.

Consideration will be given to alternate jobs provided they are meaningful, productive, reasonable and in accordance with operational requirements. It is recognized that additional training may be required with such job transfers. Generally, the accommodation options to be explored, be it temporary or permanent, are considered in the following order:

1.    Return to existing job.

1.1    Return to existing job with modifications.

2.    Return to another job within existing classification.

2.1    Return to another job with modifications within existing classification.

3.    Return to another job outside of existing classification.

3.1    Return to another job with modifications outside of existing classification.

4.    Return to another job outside of existing bargaining unit.

4.1    Return to another job with modifications outside of existing bargaining unit.   

The extent of the accommodations required depends on the particular circumstances of each case. Every reasonable effort is be made to minimize disruption in the workplace and interference with collective agreement rights resulting from accommodations.