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BOCA RATON, FL, May 08, 2009 /24-7PressRelease/ -- National Return to Work Week (NRTWW) is an opportunity for stakeholders in the workers compensation and disability management process to demonstrate their commitment to helping injured, disabled or ill employees stay-at-work or return-to-work. This week highlights the importance of retaining ill or injured employees, focusing on their ability to do the job rather than using their disability to exclude them from the workforce.
National Return to Work Week was founded by Margaret Spence, a Florida Workers Compensation Consultant and author of From Workers Comp Claimant to Valued Employee. Margaret submitted NRTWW to Chases Calendar of Events last April, it was accepted and included in the 2009 Calendar of Events.
The Grim Reality for Injured, Ill or Disabled Employees:
Annually, 4.1 million employees sustain work related accidents or injuries.
1.1 million loose time from work after the injury.
Annually, employees loose approximately 80 million workdays directly related to their injury or illness.
Employees who remain off work for 16 weeks or more seldom return to the workforce.
The re-employment options for people with work related disabilities dismal.
The current unemployment rate for people with disabilities 14.0 percent.
The stakes have never been higher, everyday we hear disturbing information about layoffs and downsizing, when company's layoff employees, what happens to employees who are injured on the job or have illness that prevent them from find new employment. What do we do with these individuals? - said Spence.
From a Workers Compensation standpoint when employees are injured in the workforce there is a monetary reward mindset, a feeling that money is better than a job. She added, this is the only system that rewards employees to stop working, even when they are capable of returning to some form of employment. We allow people to join the ranks of the unemployed for the price of a used car, says Spence.
While most employees who are injured immediately return to work and continue their regular job there are far too many who we settle out of the system. These employees either move on to a new employer, sometimes repeating the cycle, or they move to the ranks of the unemployed. There is also another subset that move into the Social Security System and become permanently disabled adding a new burden to an already over taxed system.
First Annual National Return to Work Week Virtual Conference will bring together employers, employees, treating physicians, vocational experts, insurance, legal professionals and disability providers from around the country to share best practices and exchange information to increase return to work opportunities for ill, injured and disabled employees. Together we can highlight the importance of Return to Work, Stay at Work or Transitional Duty Programs, we can not continue, even in this economic climate to exclude injured or disabled workers from the workforce.
The NRTWW Motto - Disability Does Not Mean No Ability injured, ill and disabled employees should not be discarded from the workforce. Nor should we create a system that rewards and allows them to discard themselves from the workforce. Join us on the BrightTALK Network starting on May 11, 2009 for the 1st Annual National Return to Work Week Conference.
About Margaret Spence, CWC, RMPE is the President and CEO of Douglas Claims & Risk Consultants. Spence is the author of From Workers Comp Claimant to Valued Employee and the founder of National Return to Work Week. She is an injury management expert on a mission to help employers understand the importance of implementing proactive return to work or stay at work programs. Learn more about Margaret Spence, visit her website (http://margaretspence.com)
About Chases Calendar of Events - is the most comprehensive and authoritative reference available on special events, holidays, federal and state observances, historic anniversaries and more.
National Return to Work Week - May 10 - 16, 2009, highlights the impact of not implementing proactive stay-at-work or return to work programs for ill, injured or disabled employees. It is a full week of educational and best practices presentations aimed at bringing disability management to the forefront of the national employment retention discussion. National Return to Work will be celebrated annually during the second week of May.
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