Instructions for persons coming back to work after a long sick leave
If you have been away for a long time because you have been sick, you may worry about going back to work. You may wonder how you will manage, or how your work mates will feel about you. You may be unsure about your skills or if your health is now good enough.
Talk to the doctor who treats you about going back to work. You can talk to the doctor about maybe working part time and going to rehabilitation at the same time, or going for a work try-out.
Keep in touch with your workplace when you are still on sick leave. Talk to your supervisor about your situation and tell them when and how you could go back to work. Many workplaces have instructions and practices to support people who come back to work. Trade unions and employers’ unions also give advice.
If you are going to have new duties when you come back from sick leave, ask your workplace to give you training before you go back to work. In some cases, it may be a good idea to have a work try-out when you are starting to learn new duties. Often a meeting can be organised where you meet your supervisor, someone from the occupational health care services, a shop steward and/or your own support person. At this meeting, you talk about your capacity for work.
You do not have to tell your work mates about your illness. If there are new work arrangements, however, it is a good idea to talk about them with everyone in the workplace. Your part-time work, changes in your duties and other arrangements often also affect others in the workplace.
If you do not have a job to go back to, you have a right to special support from the TE Office. Register as an unemployed jobseeker and also talk about any restrictions that you may have while you are getting better or because you are only partially able to work. As a jobseeker who is coming back from sick leave, you may get career guidance or help in organising training or a work try-out.