Supportive Employment

Commitment to Employee Health and Wellness

Red River College Polytechnic provides many services and resources to support health and wellness, to ensure a safe, healthy, sustainable return to work arrangement and/or stay at work plan for faculty and staff members. While we all strive for health and wellness in our everyday lives, medical circumstances may arise that require a temporary absence from work to facilitate treatment and recovery when illness or injury occurs.  

We recognize that a personal illness or injury can be stressful for both the individual involved and in some cases, it is also challenging for the department/work unit to maintain operational needs with reduced staff resources.

The College is committed to supporting employees to maintain their health and to recover from illness or injury when it occurs by providing the opportunity for workplace accommodation or reintegration to assist its employees with medical concerns during or after periods of disability. Modified or alternate duties may be temporarily or permanently provided to ill, injured or medically restricted employees with medical needs and/or reduced functional abilities. The College is also prepared to provide support and/or reasonable accommodation as we strive to enable employees to remain at work by accommodating their medical needs, or to return-to-work as soon as it is medically appropriate in order to facilitate further recovery and maintain connection to the workplace.

What is Supportive Employment?

Supportive Employment is a specialized area within human resources which focuses on disability management. Supportive Employment values and promotes both early intervention and proactive disability management practices with employees to ensure they receive appropriate support to continue working or return to productive employment as soon as medically feasible. This objective is supported through a partnership of communication and cooperation between all impacted stakeholders, which is vital in achieving successful outcomes. 

Supportive Employment further recognizes that every situation is unique and requires individual attention. The success of Supportive Employment primarily relies on the manager / supervisor and the affected employee addressing return to work and supportive employment issues together with sufficient medical information provided by the employee’s health care provider(s) to support the need for sick leave and/or accommodation. In addition to oversight from Human Resource Services via the College’s Supportive Employment Consultant and/or Human Resource Consultants, additional assistance may be provided by Union representation, the Workers Compensation Board (WCB), Manitoba Public Insurance (MPI), Canada Life Assurance Company (LTD), other relevant health care or insurance providers where required.

Personal Health Information and Privacy

An employee’s personal health information is confidential and must be protected. Any personal health information obtained for the purposes of disability management activities and planning will be handled in accordance with The Personal Health Information Act (PHIA) as follows:

  • confidentiality must be maintained for all personal health information compiled inclusive of any medical documentation pertaining to course of treatment, prognosis/diagnosis, or other medical findings;
  • With only a few exceptions, an employee has a right, on request, to examine and receive a copy of his or her personal health information;
  • personal health information will not be released without the written consent of the employee;
  • all personal health information received by leaders on behalf of their respective employees must be forwarded to Human Resource Services as soon as possible for record retention and secure storage.

Note: Personal health / confidential medical information is stored separate from an employee’s personnel file.

Sick Leave

As per the article 27 of Collective Agreement: 

Where an employee is to be absent because of illness, the employee shall endeavour to notify their immediate supervisor of the absence due to illness at least one hour (1) prior to and not more than thirty (30) minutes after the normal hour of beginning work, or as soon thereafter as the means of communication permit.

The College may request a medical certificate or sworn statutory declaration by advance notice or any time during or after the period of illness certifying an employee is or was unable to be present at work because of illness. Should the employee fail to provide a medical certificate or sworn statutory declaration acceptable to the Employer within a reasonable amount of time, the employee shall not be paid for the absence.

Note: If employees prefer – any/all personal health information can be submitted directly to Human Resource Services, but even so, the employee should still advise their manager that medical has been submitted and confirm to whom it was provided and when.

What is Satisfactory Medical?

Medical information is considered satisfactory when it provides sufficient information for the College to consider: 

  • an employee’s eligibility for sick leave (paid or unpaid)and/or
  • Whether opportunities for accommodation exist, which may enable an employee to remain at work and/or return to work in respect of any existing or ongoing objective medical restrictions or limitations

In order to be considered satisfactory, medical documentation must, at minimum, include the following information:

  • The general nature of the illness/injury 
  • Confirmation of a treatment/diagnostic plan (this may also require confirmation of the employees active participation in the treatment plan)
  • Details pertaining to all applicable (work-relevant) restrictions and limitations, including confirmation of  the medical basis for each restriction/limitation.
  • The anticipated duration that each restriction/limitation will impact functional abilities
  • The date of the next medical appointment/reassessment
  • The name, signature and contact information of the  treatment provider that is relaying the information.

Download the Medical Inquiry Form Template ›