Short Term Illness Return to Work Program
Download Your Plan - an overview of the Long Term Disability (LTD) and Short Term Illness (STI) Return to Work plans. (Acrobat PDF, 228 kb)
Beginning August 1, 2006, Government employees will have additional support while on short-term illness leave. The Short-Term Illness Return to Work Program is being put in place for anyone who is away from work for more than five days due to illness.
This new program is voluntary and is focused on the safe and timely return of employees to their place of work, when they are ready to do so. A Case Manager will offer to support individuals during their illness and will work with employees and their managers to prepare for the employee's return to the workplace.
The Short-Term Illness Return to Work Program is a partnership between the Public Service Commission (PSC), the Nova Scotia Government and General Employees Union (NSGEU), and the Nova Scotia Public Service LTD Plan Board of Trustees. Manulife, experienced in both short-term illness and long-term disability programs, will now provide case management services to support government employees on short-term illness.
Employees will retain all current rights related to Short-Term Illness through their applicable Collective Agreements and regulations. Both the employer and NSGEU support and endorse this program and encourage participation.
The following are some highlights of the STI Return to Work Program:
- Program is based on the voluntary participation of any affected employees
- After five (5) days of short-term illness, a Manulife Case Manager will contact the employee to offer assistance with accessing health resources
- Your health information will be held in strict confidence
- Where appropriate, a Manulife Case Manager will help facilitate return to work and may identify challenges in the workplace that may require attention, such as work environment issues, physical barriers, and nature of work
- The manager has an important role in this program, including making the first contact with Manulife, maintaining contact with the employee throughout STI leave, and supporting the employee's return to work
- Human Resources will continue to administer the eligibility criteria associated with Short-Term Illness
The first phase of implementation will reach all NSGEU members and non-bargaining employees, except those who are served by the Justice HR Corporate Service Unit and Transportation and Public Works HR Corporate Service Unit (Public Service Commission employees will be included in the August 1 roll-out). Our plan is to have this program fully implemented and available to all government employees by the end of the year.
We know that having support at the onset of an illness is an important factor in helping employees successfully return to work after an illness. Early intervention ensures employees receive appropriate treatment, an expedited and sustained recovery, and a safe and timely return to work.
Over the coming weeks, the partners will work together to ensure you receive additional program details. This includes a website with program information and forms, materials for supervisors and managers, as well as a series of information sessions across the province for all interested employees and managers.
More information and program resources are available elsewhere in this website, including some helpful Frequently Asked Questions. You may also contact your HR CSU or the NSGEU Labour Resource Centre (424-4063 in Halifax or toll-free province wide at 1-877-556-7438) if you have additional questions.
Joan Jessome, President, NSGEU & LTD Plan Trust Fund Sponsor
Rick Nurse, Commissioner, PSC & LTD Plan Trust Fund Sponsor