New recommendations were released last week on how to better control returning employees to work following disability leaves and absence management. The Disability Management Employers Coalition and Liberty Mutual's best practices result from a series of live and virtual conferences featuring human resource and benefits professionals, representing employers of all sizes and from a range of industries. 

“Effectively returning employees to work is one of the best ways employers can manage the significant costs associated with employee absence,” says Nazneen Vimadalal, vice president of marketing and product for Liberty Mutual Group Benefits. 

The broad best practices detailed in the white paper include:

• Adopt an integrated disability and absence management strategy and provide more consistent procedures for both work-related and non-work-related situations.

• Reduce absences by encouraging employees with chronic conditions to participate in corporate or vendor-sponsored programs that will help improve their health.

• Standardize and document the interactive accommodation process required by the Americans with Disabilities Amendments Act in a user-friendly way that will help minimize legal risks resulting from non-compliance.

• Implement a structured transitional work program that can provide return to work options and accommodate modified duty assignments for both occupational and non-occupational cases

• Track the profitability and cost savings from the implementation of return to work programs.

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