The smart return to work plan: Part 1: the concepts

Research output: Contribution to specialist publicationArticle


In the first article of a two-part series, Kim Burton and Serena Bartys explain the rationale and supporting evidence for the development of‘ smart’ return-to-work plans.

Occupational health (OH) professionals know that work is generally good for our health and wellbeing, and they appreciate the nuance that it is actually good jobs that are good for us. The US rheumatologist and author Professor Nortin Hadler’s aphorism springs to mind: ‘Work should be comfortable when we are well and accommodating when we are not’. Arguably, this is at the foundation of good OH practice, and formed the basis of the Health<->Work Toolbox that was developed for HSE. It also fits neatly with the topic of this two-part article – Smart Return-To-Work Plans.

Why plan a return to work (RTW)? It is not always necessary, of course – most people can get back to their job without help…
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages5
Specialist publicationOccupational Health at Work
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2022


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