Work Transition/Labour Market Re-Entry
The WSIB’s “Better at Work” philosophy guides our case management program, which includes return to work and work transition programs. The work transition program replaced the labour market re-entry program with enhanced services for workers and employers. Our data show that this new strategy is working to improve outcomes for injured workers and reduce costs.
Since this new strategy was introduced in 2010, the work transition program has continued to evolve. Work transition staff have received extensive upgrading of their skills, specifically in the areas of job analysis and job accommodations. With these enhanced skills, work transition specialists are better able to identify and secure job opportunities for injured workers with their injury employers.
Additional improvements to the program include better integration and alignment with case management, resulting in coordination of return to work and recovery plans, earlier referrals to the program, and a better overall experience for workers. In 2016, 64 per cent of Schedule 1 and 2 workers who reached six months on benefits had already been referred to work transition services. This compares to an average time to referral of 24 months under the former labour market re-entry program.
Earlier referrals, improved coordination of recovery and return to work, and more workers being accommodated at their pre-injury employer has meant that fewer workers require retraining services. As a result, year over year, program costs have declined.
Work Transition/Labour Market Re-Entry Program Costs ($ millions) – Schedule 1 and 2
*Other Category includes GL Adjustment, Other, Support Services, and Miscellaneous Expenses
Completed Work Transition/Labour Market Re-Entry Plans
Since the implementation of the work transition (WT) program, the percentage of cases with completed plans resulting in a return to work (either with the injury employer or with a new employer) is showing converging results with employment outcomes achieved under the earlier labour market re-entry (LMR) program.
As a number of cases were transitioned from the labour market re-entry program to the work transition program, results over the past five years demonstrate employment outcomes achieved by both programs. Since 2011, the number of cases completed under the labour market re-entry program has significantly decreased. This trend was expected, and is evident in the percentage of completed plans for the combined work transition/labour market re-entry program becoming more closely aligned with that of the work transition program alone throughout the years.
The percentage of cases with completed plans resulting in a return to work has improved from 93 per cent in 2015 to 98 per cent in 2016. This is true for both cases serviced exclusively by the work transition program as well as the combined results of the work transition/labour market re-entry programs.