Nine tips for Conducting a Back to Work Interview.
The return to work interview is necessary to establish the facts around an employee absence. It can highlight any health problems of which the company should be aware and assess any work related issues that may arise.
Nine tips for employers to conduct an effective return to work interview:
1) Be Prepared – review the employees attendance record over the past 12months.
2) Meet with the employee on their return to work – welcome them back.
3) Make sure the meeting is held in private.
4) Be clear that the purpose of the meeting is to provide support to the employee on returning to their work.
5) Ensure that the employee is actually fit to return to work, if you have any doubts ask them to provide a fit for work certificate from their GP before they return.
6) Establish if there are any work related factors contributing to the illness. You will need to gather sufficient information to be able to understand the main issue. Explain that you will reflect on the matter and consider next steps/options.
7) If appropriate, conduct a risk assessment of the working environment and discuss any adjustments needed. These adjustments can be described as reasonable accommodation, which is where an employer makes a change to the tasks and structure of a job, or makes changes to the workplace environment so that an employee with a disability can fully do their job.
8) If there are adjustments which you cannot accommodate, it is important that you communicate this to the employee and the reasons.
9) Keep a record of the notes from the interview and ensure that you undertake any action points for which you are responsible.