Return-to-work process and your responsibilities
Find out how the return-to-work process works. Learn about the responsibilities of workers, employers, care providers and the WCB during a worker’s recovery.
- A worker is injured at work.
- Primary assessment and treatment occurs with the worker’s health-care provider.
- The health-care professional provides the worker with temporary restrictions or modified return-to-work duties. This leads to a full return to work.
- If the worker’s recovery is delayed after the primary assessment and treatment and treatment stage, the worker will receive an advanced assessment.
- This advanced assessment could lead to temporary restrictions or modified return-to-work duties. This leads to a full return to work.
- Depending on how advanced treatment goes, it may also lead to permanent, modified return to work.
Employers, workers, care providers and the Saskatchewan Workers’ Compensation Board (WCB) must work together to prevent work injuries and, when injuries happen, assist injured workers back to work as soon as it is medically safe.
Working together, we address workers’ medical needs, arrange for meaningful work during recovery and provide benefits.
The WCB relies on care providers to tell us the things workers can’t do because of their injuries. Working with employers and workers, we use this information to develop return-to-work plans.
Workers, employers, health-care providers and the WCB all have a role to play in the recovery and return-to-work process following a work injury.
Please note: Conversations with the WCB are summarized and recorded in each injured worker’s file.
Injured workers' responsibilities
Duties of worker
51 A worker shall:
- Take all reasonable action to mitigate the worker’s loss of earnings resulting from an injury; and
- If the circumstances require, co-operate with the board in the development of a rehabilitation plan that is intended to return the worker to a position of independence in suitable productive employment. 2013, c.W-17.11, s.51.
Termination or reduction of compensation by the board in certain circumstances
101(1) The board may terminate or reduce payment to a worker of any compensation based on the worker’s loss of earnings:
- If the board determines after the review pursuant to section 100 that the worker’s loss of earnings is not related to the effects of the injury; or
- Without limiting the generality of clause (a), if:
- Without good reason, the worker is not available or declines to accept a genuine offer of employment in an occupation in which the worker, in the opinion of the board in consultation with the worker, is capable of engaging;
- Without good reason, the worker fails to co-operate in, or is not available for, a medical or vocational rehabilitation program that has as its objective returning the worker to suitable productive employment;
- In consultation with the worker, the board has designed and provided to the worker, at the expense of the board, a vocational rehabilitation program, and the worker has been allowed a reasonable time to obtain employment after completing the program;
- The worker voluntarily:
- Accepts employment in an occupation that has a lower rate of pay than an occupation in which the worker, in the opinion of the board in consultation with the worker, is capable of engaging; or
- Withdraws from the labour force for reasons other than the effects of the injury; or
- The worker fails to comply with section 51.
(2) Subsection (1) applies, with any necessary modification, to a worker’s dependent spouse after the expiration of entitlement to compensation pursuant to subsection 81(1) or (2). 2013, c.W-17.11, s.101.
If you are injured at work, you must:
- Seek medical attention immediately, if you need it.
- Tell your employer immediately about your injury.
- Report your injury to the WCB.
- Get involved and co-operate with return-to-work plans to reduce the cost of your injury.
- Stay in touch with your employer, your WCB representative and care provider during your recovery.
- Follow safety regulations on the job to avoid further injuries.
Employers work with the WCB to develop a return-to-work plan. With this advance planning in place, you will know exactly what to do if, and when, an injury happens on the job.
If a worker is injured at work, you must:
- Provide a safe and healthy workplace. Learn the safety regulations governing your business activities, the safety obligations of your workers and your workplace, and how to complete general health and safety training on the WorkSafe Saskatchewan website.
- Report the injury within five days of becoming aware of it.
- Keep in touch with the injured worker.
- Work with the injured worker and the WCB to reduce the duration of the injury.
- Fulfill your legal duty to accommodate their return to work by changing the worker’s job tasks so the worker can safely return to work during recovery.
- Set up safety and injury prevention programs to prevent other injuries.
Care providers' responsibilities
While caring for an injured worker, you must:
- Report their workplace injuries to the WCB.
- Develop a treatment plan for the injured worker.
- Support the return-to-work process by identifying any restrictions the worker may have.
- Adjust these restrictions as their condition changes.
- Give the worker the best care possible.
- Ask the WCB to arrange any services you may need.
Learn more about your roles and responsibilities, as well as treatment and assessment of injured workers.
The WCB's responsibilities
We work in partnership with all parties to help injured workers recover and return to work.
We review injury reports from the worker, the care provider and the employer to determine if the injury and disability are because of employment. Our decision whether or not to accept a claim is based on WCB legislation and policy.
If a worker’s claim is accepted, we must:
- Facilitate health-care services and return to work.
- Provide earnings loss and other benefits as provided by legislation.
- Return phone calls as soon as possible.
- Provide case management services and facilitate the worker’s recovery and return to work.
- Arrange special medical appointments and treatment upon request from the worker’s care provider.
- Provide an open and honest file review and appeals process.
- Be honest, open and fair in all dealings.
- Treat the worker, employer and care provider with dignity and respect.