Human Resources Policies
Modified Work Program for Local 416 Members (Article 46)

Category: Employment Equity, Human Rights and Accommodation

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Policy Statement

The City and the Union are committed to facilitating the early and safe return of employees to employment.

The City will make every reasonable effort to provide a meaningful, productive employment environment within which, individuals will maintain their dignity and respect while rehabilitating from their illness, injury or disability.


Objectives

The City will provide a return to work program for any employee, who due to illness or injury is temporarily or permanently unable to perform his/her regular duties by:

  • Protecting the health and safety of its employees through the prevention of accidents, injuries, and illnesses
  • Meeting or exceeding legislative and contractual requirements
  • Returning the employee to full-time employment
  • Returning the employee to modified or alternate employment that is within their capabilities on either a temporary or permanent basis
  • Respecting and maintaining confidentiality
  • Establishing mutual cooperation between the City of Toronto, the Union and its injured or ill employees
  • Providing an employment environment within which individuals can rehabilitate from their illness, injury or disability
  • Meaningful to the employee and of value to the organization
  • Ensuring that any job modified for the affected employee does not adversely affect any other employee

Authority

  • Workplace Safety and Insurance Act
  • Ontario Human Rights Code
  • Occupational Health and Safety Act
  • Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act
  • Collective Agreement, T.C.E.U. Local 416

Scope of Program

This program applies to any employee who is unable to perform his/her regular duties because of illness or injury and is deemed suitable for modified work by the treating health professional, long-term disability carrier or the WSIB.

The group defined as health professionals for the purpose of this document is: physicians/medical specialists, chiropractors, physiotherapists and registered nurses (extended class). (Consistent with WSIB-approved group of health professionals.)


Definitions

Accommodation

An adaptation or adjustment that is required to enable employees to perform their essential job responsibilities

Accommodations may include, but are not limited to, the following workplace modifications:

  • The work area
  • Worker’s job task
  • Equipment used to perform regular duties
  • Schedules
  • Work locations

Essential Duties

The duties necessary to achieve the actual job outcome. The job outcome is the overall objective of the job in terms of the production of the final product or provision of service.

The duty is essential if, when you take the duty away,

  • the job outcome is not accomplished
  • the product or service is affected
  • a process before or after is affected

Transitional Work Program

An individualized program that facilitates a gradual transition from disability to the eventual vocational objective. The plan identifies all accommodations necessary with defined timelines.

Temporary Modified Work

Any job, task, function or combination thereof that an employee who suffers a partial disability or diminished capacity, may perform safely, without risk of re-injury or exacerbation of the existing injury, on a temporary basis.

Permanent Modified Work

Consists of modifying the pre-accident job, relocating the employee to a suitable existing position, as soon as it becomes available or modifying the workplace as required. It must be established through a medical program that the employee is permanently disabled and incapable of performing the essential duties of his/her regular position.

Accommodated Pre-Accident/Illness Job

The pre-accident/illness job that has been modified to enable the injured employee to perform the essential duties of the job.

Comparable Job

A job with the features and at earnings comparable to a worker’s employment on the date of the injury.

Suitable Job

Suitable employment is defined as employment consistent with the employee’s skills and functional abilities that does not pose a health and safety hazard to the employee or co-worker.

Job Demands Analysis

An objective observation and evaluation of the physical, sensory, behavioural and cognitive demands of a job.

Functional Abilities Evaluation

A process of assessing and describing an individual’s physical and functional abilities related to their ability to work. FAEs provide information that informs decisions regarding the need for accommodation and the nature of accommodation required.


Corporate Modified Work Committee

  1. The Union and the City agree to establish a Corporate Modified Work Committee consisting of three (3) Union representatives, named by the Union, and three (3) management representatives. The committee will meet as necessary to review and oversee the Modified Work Program. The responsibilities of this committee will also include the development of any further guidelines and procedures that may assist the Individual Modified Work Team who are dealing with workers needing accommodation.
  2. Time absent from work by the Union members, who are not already on an authorized full-time leave of absence for Union business, of the Corporate Modified Work Committee will be at the City’s expense. Where at all possible, the City will schedule Corporate Modified Work Committee meetings during regular working hours. Where the meeting goes beyond such hours, the member of the committee will be paid at the overtime rate consistent with the overtime provisions of the Collective Agreement and in accordance with clause 3.07.

Individual Modified Work Teams (IMWT)

In order to ensure that:

  • all resources are utilized,
  • all interests are taken into consideration,
  • a successful modified work plan is developed,

a team approach will be utilized.

The IMWT may consist of any of the following participants, recognizing that the specific individuals needed in each case will vary.

Participants may include:

  • Employee
  • Health Professional
  • Division Representative
  • Union Representative
  • Human Resources Representative
  • WSIB or LTD Representative

Time absent from work for one (1) Union Representative, in addition to the Local 416 full-time Workplace Safety Rehabilitation Representative, to participate in the IMWT meetings will be at the City’s expense. Where at all possible, the City will schedule committee meetings during regular working hours. Where the meeting goes beyond such hours, members of the committee will be paid at the overtime rate consistent with the overtime provisions of the collective agreement, to a maximum of four (4) hours.

Responsibilities

Employee
  • promptly report all accidents and illnesses;
  • obtain medical aid immediately and continue recommended rehabilitation as necessary to recover;
  • return the completed Return to Work Information (RTWI) form immediately following the initial assessment, where practical, to the Supervisor;
  • maintain regular contact with Supervisor and WSIB/Insurance Carrier;
  • take an active role and cooperate in the development of the modified work plan;
  • participate actively in the recommended rehabilitation program;
  • provide the necessary functional/medical information to facilitate modification of jobs or accommodation.
Division Representative
  • maintain contact with employee to monitor his/her suitability to return to work;
  • modify the work or workplace, as necessary to accommodate the employee's restrictions;
  • provide an on-the-job period of transitional employment for the returning employee, as necessary;
  • provide training;
  • monitor the employee’s performance and progress in relation to the functional abilities or limitations;
  • ensure that no tasks are being assigned other than those in accordance with the recommended restrictions on the RTWI form or on other medical information provided;
  • relate progress evaluation and concerns regarding the assigned work to the Human Resources Representative, as necessary.
Union Representative
  • provide support, encouragement and direction to the disabled employee where appropriate;
  • work in co-operation with all members of the IMWT to facilitate a successful return to work as soon as possible;
  • may participate in the placement of employees in temporary modified work and will participate upon request of any member of the IMWT;
  • review all modified work plans;
  • provide employee with information about the Modified Work Program and the Collective Agreement.
Human Resources Representative(s)
  • facilitate an early return to work following an injury or illness, where involved;
  • obtain confirmation regarding the employee's medical condition, restrictions and progress, where involved;
  • coordinate IMWT meetings to discuss the employee's abilities and employment alternatives, where involved;
  • maintain regular contact with the employee for evaluation and support during the rehabilitation process, where involved;
  • act as liaison between employee, union representative, physician, supervisor and WSIB/Insurance Carrier, where involved

Conditions of Modified Work Employment

  1. Duration

    1. Temporary modified work will normally be considered if the medical prognosis indicates that the employee:

      • will be disabled from performing his/her normal duties for a defined period of time (defined by the treating health professional) and will be able to resume normal duties at the completion of the rehabilitation period.
    2. Extension of the temporary modified work requires a written recommendation from a health professional and will be reviewed by members of the IMWT including concurrence of the WSIB or LTD representative, where involved.
  2. While participating in a temporary modified work program, the employee will:

    For the hours worked:

    • receive 100% of his/her regular earnings or the rate of the position whichever is greater for the duration of the temporary modified work program as defined in #1 above and subject to regular reviews (For permanent placements see item 5),

    or for hours not worked:

    • use available sick credits and entitlements in accordance with the Collective Agreement, or
    • receive insurance coverage through WSIB, LTD or a private carrier subject to their regulations
  3. For either temporary or permanent modified work, after exhausting opportunities in the employee’s own classification, division and department, it may be necessary for the employee to accept a change in occupation, division, department, to provide necessary accommodation subject to the conditions of the Collective Agreement.

    NOTE: The parties recognize that the City underwent an administrative restructuring, as of April 15, 2005, that eliminated the previous departmental structure. For the purposes of the Modified Work Program only, it is agreed that the term “Department” will refer to the group of divisions under each of the Deputy City Managers.

  4. The City will pay the cost of medical/functional documents required for participation in modified work programs.
  5. Employees who are placed in a permanent alternate position, due to an occupational injury/illness (as defined by the Workplace Safety & Insurance Board), will be subject to the normal assessment period and will receive the wage rate of the position to which they are assigned. If the pre-injury rate of pay is higher than the relocated position rate, then the pre-injury rate is to be maintained. It is understood that the pre-injury rate is subject to all wage increases negotiated.

    Employees who are placed in a permanent alternate position, due to a non-occupational injury or illness, will be subject to the normal assessment period and will receive the wage rate of the position to which they are assigned.

  6. Training
    Where an employee is placed temporarily or permanently in a modified or alternate position, the City will provide the necessary on-the-job training (to a maximum of one (1) year). Such training arrangements and their continuation will be subject to satisfactory progress as monitored by the IMWT. In addition, for occupational illness or injury the City will comply with all training provisions under the WSIA.
  7. Job Demands Analysis (JDA)
    To facilitate the matching of employees to suitable positions a JDA will be completed for modified work plans. JDAs for all city positions will be undertaken; the Corporate Modified Work Committee will monitor the progress. The City will provide a copy of the JDA’s to the Union.
  8. Education
    Information and orientation on the program will be provided jointly to all managers, supervisors and employees. The Corporate Modified Work Committee will determine how such information is best communicated as well as how the implementation of the education component is rolled out. Specific information on available rehabilitation services will be provided to all employees who are away from work due to a prolonged illness or injury.

Procedures

Temporary Modified Work

  1. In cases where the employee suffers an occupational illness or injury that requires medical treatment, the supervisor will complete an injury report and provide the employee with:

    1. The RTWI form outlining the modified work program;
    2. a Job Demands Analysis describing the demands of the employee’s work responsibilities (where available).
  2. The RTWI form should be completed by the treating health professional indicating functional limitations, approximate expected length of disability, and the suitability for modified work. The RTWI form shall be returned to the supervisor immediately, or as soon as practicable.
  3. On receipt of the information from the treating health professional or WSIB that the employee is fit for temporary modified duties, a return to work plan may be developed, including:

    1. Job Modification - the initial step will be to modify the regular job and gradually increase the activity as required. Consideration will also be given to modifying the work schedule if possible.

    2. Transitional Work Program -

      1. If the division is not able to modify the regular job, attempts will be made to reassign the employee to temporary modified work, within the same division/department. The plan will be developed to gradually return the employee to his/her regular position;
      2. if a reassignment is not possible within the department, then consideration will be given to other departments within the City, preferably within the same bargaining unit.
  4. Where the employee has not returned to work, either the City or the Union may request the assistance of the mediation services provided by the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board.
  5. Once the modified work assignment has ended, or earlier if the employee is medically certified to perform full duties, he/she will return to the regular job. An employee who is capable of returning to his/her regular duties must provide medical authorization from the treating health professional.
  6. Where a member of the IMWT determines that there is a need to review the temporary modified work of an employee, the appropriate team members will meet and agree on any changes to the plan.

Permanent Modified Work

  1. On receipt of information from the treating health professional, WSIB or the LTD carrier that the employee requires permanent modified work, members of the IMWT will be involved in the placement process.
  2. Members of the IMWT will evaluate the available accommodation options based on the following steps:

    1. Accommodate Pre-accident/illness Job - consider whether the job can be permanently modified to accommodate the employee and allow him/her to perform the essential duties of the job.
    2. Comparable Job in the Division/Department - consider alternative comparable jobs in which the employee is capable of performing the essential duties, with or without accommodation (see definition of Comparable Work).
    3. Comparable Job Outside the Division/Department but Within the Local 416 Bargaining Unit - consider comparable jobs in different departments but still within the Local 416 bargaining unit.
    4. Suitable Job in the Pre-accident/illness Division/Department within the Local 416 Bargaining Unit
    5. Suitable Job Outside the Division/Department, but within the Local 416 Bargaining Unit
    6. Comparable Job Outside the Local 416 Bargaining Unit (agreed subject to receiving confirmation that Local 79 is agreeing to the same language)

      Local 416 employees being accommodated in a permanent placement in Local 79, as a result of a workplace injury/illness, will have their seniority recognized by the City in accordance with clause 27.XX.

    7. Suitable Job Outside The Local 416 Bargaining Unit (agreed subject to receiving confirmation that Local 79 is agreeing to the same language)

      Local 416 employees being accommodated in a permanent placement in Local 79, as a result of a workplace injury/illness, will have their seniority recognized by the City in accordance with clause 27.XX.

  3. In order for the injured employee to be considered for the job he/she must be willing to participate in the necessary on-the-job training and will adhere to the provisions of the appropriate collective agreement.
  4. During the first six (6) months of the permanent placement there will be regular follow-up with designated IMWT members to monitor the employee’s ability to function in the job.
  5. Employees who are placed in a permanent alternate position, due to an occupational injury/illness (as defined by the Workplace Safety & Insurance Board), will be subject to the normal assessment period and will receive the wage rate of the position to which they are assigned. If the pre-injury rate of pay is higher than the relocated position rate, then the pre-injury rate is to be maintained. It is understood that the pre-injury rate is subject to all wage increases negotiated.

    Employees who are placed in a permanent alternate position, due to a non-occupational injury or illness, will be subject to the normal assessment period and will receive the wage rate of the position to which they are assigned.

  6. The Union will be provided with the list of vacancies on a regular basis.

Future Legislation

In the event that future legislation is passed that is superior to this agreement the parties agree to review the Modified Work Program, consistent with the new legislation.


Approved by

Mediated Memorandum of Agreement with Local 416

Date Approved

July 20, 2005

Attachments

RTW Form.pdf (147 Kbytes)

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