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What is Rehabilitation

Rehabilitation is the process of restoration of skills, for a person who has had an illness or injury so as to regain maximum self-sufficiency and function in a normal or as near normal manner as possible.

The HSE is committed to the provision of workplace rehabilitation that supports and enables injured or sick employees to remain at or return to the workplace to continue working.

Providing modified or accommodated work to injured or ill worker means employees can return early and safely to work activities suitable to their abilities. This process benefits both the employee and the employer.

The HSE has a policy Rehabilitation of Employees Back to Work after Illness or Injury Policy & Procedure. This policy provides a process which can enable employees to stay at work or support employees to return to work within a safe and structured process following injury or illness, so far as reasonably practicable. This is a collaborative process between the employee, manager and others in order to reach the best outcome.

Benefits of workplace rehabilitation

Studies show that rehabilitation programmes reduce sickness absence. This benefits both employees and the services in which they work.

We know that employees benefit from being at work

  • employment is generally the most important means of earning a living
  • work meets important psychosocial needs in societies
  • work is central to people’s identity, social roles, and social status
  • employment and socio-economic status are key drivers of peoples’ physical and mental health

By providing recommended workplace accommodations, managers have a skilled, knowledgeable staff member back into the workplace sooner.  This means that services can be provided and absence costs are reduced

Read more about Dame Carol Black, Expert Adviser on Health and Work to NHS England and Public Health England - ‘Working for a healthier tomorrow’ (2008).