Return to Work Policy

Category:  Human Resources
Approval:  Vice-Principals' Operations Committee
Responsibility:  Associate Vice-Principal Human Resources
Date:  January 12, 2015

Purpose/Reason for Policy:

Queen's University believes that the successful recovery of ill or injured employees depends on early intervention and assistance with the rehabilitation and return to work process. This Statement of Policy and Procedure outlines Queen's University's commitment to assist in the employee's return to their pre-Disability job as soon as possible.

Scope of this Policy:

This Policy applies to all University employees, who are employed with Queen's and 

  • Who provide Substantiated Medical Documentation confirming they are Disabled and preventing them from performing some or all of the Bona Fide Occupational Requirements of their job, or
  • Who sustain a personal injury by accident arising out of and in the course of their employment, or
  • Who suffer from and are impaired by an Occupational Disease that occurs due to the nature of their employment by Queen's University in an occupation in which the employee is engaged, or

*If an employee does not require time absent from work, but requires an Accommodation Measure, please refer to the Accommodation of Disabilities in the Workplace Policy and the Individualized Disability Accommodation Procedures

Policy Statement:

Queen's University recognizes that an early and safe return to work benefits both the worker and the employer by helping to maintain productivity, minimizing the social impact of being unable to work, and reducing related compensation costs. Queen's University is committed to co-operate in the early and safe return to work of our employees who require a medical leave of absence.

An employee who has provided Substantiated Medical Documentation will be entitled to the sick leave provisions in accordance with their respective collective agreement and the University's Sick Leave Policy. An employee who sustains a personal injury by accident arising out of and in the course of their employment or is impaired by an Occupational Disease is entitled to be re-employed by Queen's University in accordance with the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act, 1997.


Employee Requiring Sick Leave

  • Contact the Office of the University as soon as possible after suffering an injury or illness, as well as maintain communication through the period of their recovery
  • Ensure that the Return to Work & Accommodation Department is in receipt of Substantiated Medical Documentation as soon as possible following the injury or illness
  • Participate in Accommodation Measures suggested in good faith
  • Work with the Officer of the University to review and, if necessary, modify the Return to Work Plan
  • Follow the Return to Work Plan as set out and to keep the Return to Work & Accommodation Department informed of any changes in their rehabilitation or physical condition that affect their ability to work.

Officers of the University

  • Inform the Department of Environmental Health and Safety of an accident, injury, or Occupational Disease that occurs in the workplace or as a result of performing work related duties, and complete an Incident Report within 24 hours of the reported Disability.
  • Make early contact with an injured or ill employee as soon as possible after the reported Disability, and notify the Return to Work & Accommodation Department if absence is expected to exceed two (2) weeks and/or assistance with accommodation is required
  • Identify the Bona Fide Occupational Requirements of the position
  • Maintain confidentiality, any requests for documentation will adhere to privacy legislation (PIPEDA, PHIPA and FIPPA).

Human Resources Department - Return to Work & Accommodation Department

  • Provide advice, guidelines, and resources related to policy interpretation and procedures for employment accommodation to faculty, staff and supervisors
  • Ensure the policy is interpreted and applied to promote the University's commitment to building an inclusive community
  • Ensure employment information is available and processes established to enhance accessibility for employees
  • Communicate with the employee on medical leave to ensure that Substantiated Medical Documentation has been completed by the employee's treating physician
  • Use the Substantiated Medical Documentation to assess:
    • Whether or not the employee with a Disability is able to perform the Bona Fide Occupational Requirements of their regular job with or without Accommodation Measures;
    • Whether suitable modified work is available for the employee, or
    • Whether other employment is available within Queen's University for the employee
  • Maintain confidentiality as required under this policy and ensure that accommodation requests are managed in a manner that is consistent with privacy legislation PIPEDA, PHIPA and FIPPA.
  • Develop Return to Work and Accommodation Plans as outlined in the Return to Work Procedure and Individualized Disability Accommodation Procedure documents.
  • Determine an employee's entitlement to participate in the Accommodation Program
  • Consult with other departments as required

Union Representatives

  • Facilitate any Accommodation Measures that require agreements outside of the respective collective agreement
  • Work with the employer and other members to address existing barriers to an early and safe return to work
  • Facilitate job placement for individuals participating in the Accommodation Program 

Return to Work Policy Definitions

Contact Officer:  Manager, Return to Work and Accommodation Department
Related Policies, Procedures and Guidelines: