Return to Work After a Mental Health Leave

Chris Poot, Manager, Return to Work Program Services, WCB: If you’re just trying to teach employers that, not unlike physical injuries, to come prepared and try and figure out with the individual what their coping strategy is going to be. So, if you have a person with a physical injury, and they need a break every hour or something like that, to rest or to walk or whatever, what’s the corresponding kind of allowance that you need to make for an individual with a mental health issue to be able to get through their day? Just trying to figure out what that coping strategy is. It’s not really complex. For most employers, that’s sufficient.


Should Small Business Owners Take Return to Work Training?

Chris Poot, Manager, Return to Work Program Services, WCB: There are a number of simple things that people can do and they should ask, “What do I just I start with? Maybe I can’t get involved in all that stuff now but how do I just start that?” And our courses teach that. People come out of those classes going, “Wow, I can actually use this today.” And so, I’m encouraging every employer, even if you don’t have a lot of claims, to take this course because, finally when you do have one, at least you understand what to do and how to do it, and everyone wins in that circumstance.


Employer Misconceptions About Return to Work

(Chris Poot, Manager, Return to Work Program Services, WCB): There’s a myth and it’s – I think it’s slowly disappearing - that return to work is somehow punitive, and it’s not. It’s not a loss of entitlement or anything. We know that people recover faster when they go back to work and there are so many positive benefits to an injured worker that at times, I don’t understand how that still exists, but it does. Starting with the beginning, we have training for employers—formal training, that they get a certificate of completion on WCB basics, that’s understanding how the whole process works. And then secondly with a more specialized course on return to work, developing your own program. But we also do consulting services for some of the larger, more complex companies where we teach them and look at everything that they do on how to develop a really good and effective return to work program. We don’t charge anybody anything for this. This is a win for the board as well, so, the WCB’s perspective is that employers are getting better at this—this is exactly what our goal is. We’re prepared to invest the time, and energy, and the resources to do that, no charge to employers.


Sample Documents

Having the right tools is key to a successful Return to Work program. On this page we have provided some samples of the tools we recommend to help build or further develop your Return to Work program.

If you have questions or want advice about how to use any of these documents, please contact the Return to Work Program Services Team at or 204-954-4662. 

Custom Training

Are you a large employer who needs to have several people attend our workshops? 

Are you a small or medium sized employer outside of Winnipeg and know other businesses in your area who would like to have staff trained in WCB Basics, Return to Work Basics or both?

The Return to Work Program Services team can accommodate offsite workshops for groups of 10 or more, depending on availability. Custom workshops are free – just like our regular workshops. 

Plan Ahead with the WCB

When unexpected illnesses or injuries happen at your business, it can be difficult to know what to do first. You want to make sure that your workers are taken care of, receive the treatment they need and help them get back to work - but you might not know where to start.

Work can be Therapy Video

In this video, Dr. Sarvesh Logsetty from Health Sciences Centre explains that a gradual return to work with modified duties is good for injury recovery.
(Dr. Sarvesh Logsetty, Health Sciences Centre): Work can be therapy. Those of you who play sports understand that rest isn’t always best. When you have an injury in the sports event, you don’t just stop doing the sport. What you do is you go for your therapy and then you reintroduce yourself into a sport. Either wearing a no-contact jersey, doing less time on the ice, and work is very much the same way. You need to start off in graduated work that’s safer, that is more geared to what your injury will allow you to do, to allow you to progress towards your full duties.


A Better Recovery with a Safe Return to Work Plan Video 2

This video is from our 2016 Return to Work campaign that explains how you can have a better recovery with a safe Return to Work Plan.
(Speaker): After an injury, you may heal faster with a safe return to work plan, rather than not working at all. (Dr. Sarvesh Logsetty, Health Sciences Centre): Rest isn’t always best. Modified work, gradually introduced, can help you get better. (Speaker): The WCB works with you, your doctor and your employer to help you get back to health and meaningful work. Ask your employer about return to work plans.



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