What Is a Return to Work Letter? 

A return to work letter is recommended for documenting information about employees committing a prolonged period of absence from work due to illnesses and accidents, and their ability to come back to work and perform their responsibilities. A return to work form is used during return to work interviews. It is also utilized for self-certification. Workers accomplish their form with their managers during the return to work interview, and they give a rough idea of how the employee can return to the workplace as smoothly as possible.

Many employees usually take a leave of absence because they get sick. This is a common reason why a worker opts to take leaves; however, getting injured is also one of the most common reasons why an employee missed working days. 

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, private industry employers declared that there were 2.8 million non-fatal injuries and illnesses in the working environments in 2019, fixed from 2018. There were 888, 220 illnesses and non-fatal injuries that result in a private industry employee losing at least a day of work in 2019, practically uninterrupted from 2018.

Speaking of sickness, people associate it with any physical malady that a person suffers from that causes him or her to miss work, but a study in Germany shows data that there were workers who return to work from being absent because of mental disorders. With close to 30% of the population suffers one mental disorder in a year, common mental disorders are rampant in Deutschland and primarily affect the general workforce. 

Mental health is one of the pressing issues in recent years, and it has been a popular advocacy by many for it transcends race and nationality. Whether you are an American or a German, you can experience mental disorders. It can happen to almost anyone. With that being said, an employee who needs to make his or her mental health a priority needs to file a leave of absence from work and may return when one recovers. 

This is how important a back-to-work plan is, and you might need a return to office plan template to help you get started. Injuries and illnesses can happen to anyone. You will soon need this or someone you know; thus, learning the basics of creating a return to work form is a good step in preparing yourself for what’s ahead whether it’s good or bad. As the cliché goes, ‘’Expect the best, and prepare for the worst.” 

Elements of a Return to Work Form

Basically, a return to work note should mention why a worker was able to miss work. It should state that they are now in a better condition if they were previously sick, and an employee returning to work is now ready to resume working. Should the employee need any kind of support while transitioning to work, that piece of information should be stated there, also. There are companies that have stringent policies when it comes to the return to work program. You cannot go back to work unless you accomplish a return to work note. To help you ease the process of creating one, here are the essential elements of a return to work note: 

Worker’s Identity: The employee’s identification details can include the complete name, age, and address. Date Information: This refers to the important dates wherein the patient started his or her treatment and the exact dates that he or she had gotten well. The Physician’s Identity: This includes the physician’s name, job title or specialization, and the name of the clinic or hospital.Contact Details: This is the physician’s contact information. It can be a mobile number or email should the company and its management have any questions. Diagnostic Information: This includes the details of the employee’s lab tests, symptoms, and diagnosis. Details Declaring Recovery: The physician should state that the employee has fully or partially recovered from the sickness or injury. Despite that, he or she is fit to work.

How to Write a Return to Work Form

A back-to-work template is a useful tool to easily create a return-to-work form for unwell or injured employees returning to work. Any well-crafted return to work form template follows these basic steps:

Step 1: Address the Letter to the Right Person.

Address the return to work letter to the right peopleto a human resources representative or to an immediate supervisor. It depends on the agency’s structuring and policies, also. These people are the ones who will take care of your leave of absence or anything that has something to do with your attendance and non-attendance.  

Step 2: Express Gratitude to Them for Approving Your Work Leave.

When you create a letter to return to work, the proper way is to open with a thank you for authorizing or approving your leave. State how your work leave lets you recover from an illness, care for a family member or relative, or cater to any changes at home.   

Step 3: Affix Important and Proper Documentation. 

The necessary proper documentation attached to your letter depends on the reasons behind your absence and the return to work policy by your company. The documentation can either be a letter of intent to return to work or a form you were required to fill out by your company before you took your leave of absence. Furthermore, if you came back after being ill or had surgery, your company will be asking you to present a return-to-work doctor’s note confirming you are already fit to resume your office duties. If you decide to include a medical return-to-work form, be sure to state the reason behind your absence and your physical limitations once you resume working.   

Step 4: State How You Plan a Smooth Transition.

Any employee return to work letter sample lays out specific details on how an employee plans to get reacclimated. This is important to ensure you can have a seamless transition back to work, and get back to your performance level prior to your leave of absence. A smooth transition is also vital for you to get accustomed to new working conditions since you had been away. For instance, you have been sent the minutes of a meeting or any internal corporate communication documents to help you be in the loop. 

Step 5: End the Letter With a Thank You Note.

End the return to work letter with gratitude. Thank your employer, managers, immediate supervisors, or even the HR representative for their consideration, flexibility, patience, and support during your absence to show your appreciation, gratitude, and professionalism. 


Why is it essential to provide your employer a return to work note after taking a leave of absence?

More often than not, companies require a return to work note after an employee’s leave of absence over a long period of time. The purpose of this is to jog your immediate supervisor’s memory about the reason why you missed work, to look into your capacity to start afresh fulfilling your professional duties and responsibilities, and to establish details on the date you planned to come back to work. When you want to resume work after an extended leave of absence, you can make use of a well-written return to work note to put into writing the essential details your employer needs to be aware of so they can delegate the tasks within the organization, and maintain the expected workflow. With the use of a letter, you can communicate any alterations or updates that took place during your non-attendance, and indicate if you need any kind of support upon your return.

What are some tips in writing a good return to work letter?

When crafting the letter, use professional language. Never use informal language, and avoid using jargon that the employer isn’t accustomed to; moreover, keep from using abbreviations because they can be a source of confusion. Incorporate a letterhead, also. The most important part is to proofread the letter to make sure it is error-free. The spelling and grammar must be on point.

What are the advantages of using a return-to-work template?

A return to work letter template can be utilized by any employee who has an extended leave of absence (due to illness or injury from accidents) to mention his or her days of non-attendance and the reasons behind them. The return to work form templates are not only of great help during sickness and injuries, but they are most useful these days amidst the coronavirus pandemic. It can be utilized to help in assessing how the workers can safely return to the office since some companies shifted to work-from-home arrangements last year. Yet, some companies now opted to return to the office setup despite the ongoing pandemic. A template lets you customize your letter or form according to your preferences. It saves you the effort and time you spend on researching the necessary details for the letter. A template almost has everything already which you can tweak depending on your needs.

What is a return to work program?

A return to work program thrives on the basis of a medical certificate giving a rough idea of the employee’s capabilities and limitations upon returning from a lengthy leave of absence due to sickness or accidents. The company or employer crafts a return to work plan laying out responsibilities of a returning worker to carry out until they are fully well. The return to work plan also provides emphasis on the support to be given to the returning worker.

What is the benefit of securing a return to work note in the corporate setting?

Once you provide your employer with one, you can be certain that your non-attendance and leaves are duly documented. There are also instances that an employee’s reason for missing work due to sickness or injury can be considered as a paid leave.

There comes a time in a worker’s life where he or she can experience a medical malady or an injury that hampers productivity at work. An employee can request a leave of absence instead. Taking a break from work can be a special time to rest, heal, recover, and get the necessary medical treatments. Once an employee plans to go back to work, an employer usually requires the worker to accomplish a return to work note or fill out a form that attests they are well enough to return and to resume working. Return to work letters can be drafted by the employee. In some cases, the employer will ask for confirmation from a physician. May it be a letter of intent to return to work or a doctor’s note, you can browse through our selection of excellently designed templates. Download today!