You have a worker that has been on modified duties and informs you that they are going on vacation. How do you manage a modified worker on vacation?
Can a worker with a WCB claim go on vacation while performing modified duties?
The short answer is yes!
A worker is allowed to go on vacation. Often these vacations are booked prior to them getting hurt at work.
Do I have to pay them?
If the worker has vacation pay, they could use that while on vacation. A good rule to go by is if not for the workplace injury, how would you pay the worker?
Follow the same concept and let your provincial WCB know.
Will WCB pay them?
Technically, no they shouldn’t.
If a worker is:
- Performing Modified Duties
- Attending treatment
- Scheduled Appointments
The worker is expected to continue and perform these as part of their rehabilitation process.
If they go on vacation, typically WCB will not pay the worker while they are on vacation. Once a worker returns from their vacation, they should be entitled to the normal benefits.
If the worker is receiving full wage replacement benefits and not performing modified duties, they may still get paid by WCB while on vacation. It is highly recommended that you check with the WCB on what benefits they would receive as this is decided by the claim owner.
Can I stop a worker from going on vacation?
As a company, you are not in a position to tell the worker what they can do at home on their own time. You are able to control the duties they do at your workplace as long as:
- It’s within their work restrictions
- A benefit to you as a company
- Not demeaning
- Consistent with the Return to Work Plan
When it comes to vacations, physical and social activities, you are unable to tell a worker what they are and are not allowed to do.
Remind them of their restrictions. Explain that as part of their recovery they should follow these restrictions at home as well as at work.
Document the conversation either in an email to yourself. Many clients have a dedicated book where they track conversations with stakeholders. You can document the conversation in this book as well.
A stakeholder is anyone with an interest in the claim.
An example of this is:
- the company
- the worker
- Medical practitioners
You will want to call WCB and inform them of your conversation to have it recorded on file.
How do I protect my company if a worker is potentially doing something outside of restrictions?
The worker tells you they are going on vacation.
They are going to participate in an activity that could be outside of their work restrictions.
What you want to do is:
- Clarify the activity or vacation destination
- Length of time they will be away
- Inform your WCB Claim Owner of the vacation
- Ask them to see a doctor prior to the vacation to note symptoms and current status.
- If in physiotherapy, ask the physiotherapist to provide exercises while away.
- When they return, continue the modified work program.
What if their symptoms after vacation are worse or delay recovery?
In some cases this could be a possibility. Being away from physiotherapy or active treatment could delay recovery. Perhaps, something happened while on vacation that has led to a worsening of symptoms.
There are options available to you.
For access to WCB Online Courses go to courses page and select the one program that suits you.
In addition, our Appeals Program will help you appeal any WCB claim decision. Walking you step-by-step through the claims process.
For more information or questions about this or any other WCB related topic, you can email our team by clicking here.