Returning to Work After an Accident or Injury

If you are returning to work after an absence due to an accident or injury it can be a worrying process. Getting back to work is an important part of recovery from an accident. However, it’s important to understand that a return to work after injury might need a considered process. This is particuarly important if your injury happened at work.

Two people sitting at a desk discussing returning to work after injury

A good workplace will usually be in touch from time to time whilst you’ve been recovering. Remember that your injuries may not only be physical, but mental. If you’ve been in a serious accident, it can have an effect on your mental health. This should be considered by you and your employer when planning a return to work.


Returning to Work After an Accident – The Process

Once you’re fit enough to go back to work, you’ll usually be asked to attend a return to work meeting with your employer or supervisor. This need not be formal and shouldn’t cause you to panic. These meetings are designed to welcome you back, find out how you’re feeling and to discuss any health related issues you might still have.


Your Rights Under the Equality Act 2010

Your return to work meeting is your chance to raise any workplace adjustments you need to be made. For example, if you’re experiencing physical mobility difficulties or have become disabled after your accident. Your rights under the Equality Act 2010 entitle you to reasonable adjustments being made to allow you to return to work.

What Are Reasonable Adjustments When Returning to Work?

Most employers want to retain the skills, personal qualities and experience of their workforce. They will want to do everything they can to make your return to work go as smoothly as possible.

As well as adjusting your work environment to aid you with your mobility, it may well be that you have other issues of concern which they can also assist you with. This can include allowing you a phased return to work. Instead of working full-time, you might be able to come back one or two days a week. A phased return to work after accident or injury could take place over a few weeks. This would let you get settled back into your routine without being under pressure.

Your workload could be made lighter. Your employer should alter your Working Hours so that you can attend any rehabilitation or medical appointments. Many employers will also have an Occupational Therapist who can also offer you advice and assistance.


Keep Talking to Your Employer

The most important thing is that you have a good dialogue with your supervisor or employer after your return. If they are kept in the loop about the state of your health after your return to work, they can give the support you need. It’s vital to talk openly with them about any physical or psychological problems you may be experiencing. You have a right to support from your employer when returning to work after accident or injury. Keep talking to them.

It may take some time before you feel you’re able to perform your role as you used to. In some instances, a disability may prevent you from doing exactly the same job as you were previously. A good employer will find an adjusted role which you can cope with, and which suits you personally.

There is no time limit set on recovering from an accident or injury. Medication and ongoing rehabilitation treatment can affect stamina levels and affect mental health. Your employer should be made aware of this in order to give you as much time as possible to return to full-health.

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