The focus of the ISSA Guidelines on Return to Work and Reintegration is on persons who are on sick leave from work, either on a short-term or long-term basis, and who retain an attachment to a specific employer. The guidelines are applicable regardless of whether the reason for the sick leave absence is occupational or non-occupational.
Return to work (RTW) is a key pillar in a set of workplace processes designed to facilitate the workplace reintegration of persons concerned, who experience a reduction in work capacity as a result of either occupational or non-occupational diseases or injuries. By taking into account individual needs, the work environment, enterprise needs and legal responsibilities, return to work processes represent a coordinated effort focused on job retention as the first step in preventing persons who experience a reduction in work capacity from an early exit from working life.
The return to work of workers who are on sick leave is part of a continuum of processes aimed at protecting and promoting the health, well-being and work ability of the workforce. Return to work is one important component of a tertiary prevention approach.