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Health and Wellbeing at Work

13 Mar 2024

Returning to work after sickness absence: smart plans empower worker and workplace

Prof Kim Burton OBE
Maintaining work ability for people with health problems is an unsolved, and a current policy focus. We know from the available scientific evidence much of what works, yet transferring that knowledge has been inconsistent and implementation at scale remains a challenge. The use of ‘smart’ RTW Plans is one potential way to bring all the key players onside and coordinate their actions. A recent Knowledge Transfer Partnership between University of Huddersfield and Swiss Re explored this topic from an innovative angle – that of engaging and empowering the worker to develop their own RTW Plan, along with exploration of alternative implementation routes. This has resulted in a wayfinding approach that is health condition agnostic, can deliver the knowledge, and contains the tools to smooth the journey from sickness absence to work – the ‘smart’ RTW Plan.
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