Returning to work after stress-related absence
If staff take time off because of work-related stress, getting them back to work as quickly as possible is important. A well-managed early return to work will reduce the risk of the absence lasting longer than one month, after which it is considered long term. In general, people find it more difficult to return to work after a long-term absence.
It is important to:
• Keep in regular contact with the employee to help keep work on their agenda. This also offers good opportunities to plan the return to work
• Review the situation. The employee needs to regularly review their situation with their GP
• Hold a return to work discussion to identify what led to the absence and any adjustments their manager could make to improve the situation.
Keep in mind that the person may find it difficult to talk about these issues. There may also be factors outside work that contributed to the person’s work-related stress. Talking to the employee about these will help identify whether adjustments at work will help. But don’t assume that stress is only caused by factors outside of work.