7 Disincentives for Employees to Return to Work and How You Can Avoid Them

The following is a list of 7 possible ways that an employee can make just as much (or more) money while they are injured than they would make if they were not injured.

1) Double Dipping – Employees may receive funds from both workers’ compensation and disability insurance if their injury is one that puts them out of work for a long period of time.

2) Unemployment – In some states, employees who are receiving workers’ compensation may also qualify for unemployment under certain circumstances. Companies should offer all injured employees a transitional job which they can perform while they are injured. If the employee turns down the transitional job, they will most likely not be granted unemployment status.

3) Lawsuits – While an employee is unable to sue their employer if they are receiving workers’ compensation, they are still able to sue other people who may have been involved in the incident which led to their injury.

4) Pension Pay – Older employees who are injured on the job may decide to retire while receiving workers’ compensation and begin collecting pension pay as well. Pension plans should be revised to not allow the collection of both pension pay and workers’ compensation at the same time.

5) Occupational Injury Supplements – Some employers offer these which may raise workers’ compensation benefits to full salary rather than two thirds salary. These programs are disincentives to return to work because the employee’s gross profit ends up increasing. By staying at home and receiving full salary rather than going to work and receiving full salary, the employee saves money on expenses that go hand in hand with going to work such as gas or food.

6) Motor Vehicle Accidents – If an employee is injured in a motor vehicle accident that was not their fault while on company time, they may receive workers’ compensation as well as medical benefits from their auto insurance. The no-fault medical benefits should be deducted from the workers’ compensation benefits in order to prevent this from happening.

7) Additional Collateral Sources – This includes anything else that may be a disincentive for an employee to return to work such as the ability to accrue sick time while on workers’ compensation or having transitional duty jobs that don’t have any time limit on them.

In order to successfully prevent any of these from happening at your company, make sure that return to work and company-paid policies and procedures are highly structured and strictly adhered to. Have all departments review benefits to make sure these perks and policies do not discourage employees from returning to work as soon as they are able to do so. In cases where an employee does get away with receiving double compensation for the same injury, most states allow insurers and employers to seek reimbursement for the workers’ compensation paid to that individual.

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