You're off work. Now what? Things to consider, people to talk to and your responsibilities when on leave for more than five days.
What are my responsibilities while I am off work on sick leave?
Ensure you have reported your absence by contacting the employee absence reporting line, EARL at 604-605-3275 or 1-877-342-3275. The EARL system will then notify:
- Your manager or department delegate
- Fraser Health's absence and disability management team (if you indicate that you will be off for more than five days)
If your absence ends up being longer than you originally anticipated and reported on your last EARL call, you will need to call EARL again to update the number of days you expect to be off.
You are expected to provide regular updates and participate in treatment throughout the duration of your recovery. This includes:
- Keeping your manager/supervisor informed of your recovery timeline.
Remember that you do not have to share the specific details about your medical condition with your manager or supervisor.
- Following your treatment plan, in collaboration with your health care providers, absence and disability management team member and union (if applicable).
- Updating your absence and disability management team member on the progress of your recovery and return-to-work plan.
- Logging in to myFHinfo regularly to review your pay notifications and check for any important messages.
If you have difficulty logging on to myFHinfo, contact Service Desk.
- Reaching out to your absence and disability management team member if you’re struggling in your recovery. We are here to help.
What information do I need to provide while I am off work?
During a long term absence (anything greater than five days), you are responsible for providing the up-to-date medical documentation to your absence and disability management team member that outlines:
- How your injury or illness is impacting you
- How your injury or illness is impacting your ability to do your job
- Treatment plan details
- Return to work status
Who do I need to be in contact with with on leave?
You should be having regular communication with your:
- Absence and disability management team member
- Case manager from any insurer (as applicable)
- Treatment providers
- Department (manager/supervisor/team lead)
Who will contact me?
A member from the absence and disability management team will be assigned to you to guide you through the process.
The following people may also be in contact with you:
- Enhanced disability management program (EDMP) representative (if applicable) – a union representative who works with Fraser Health's absence and disability management team to support you in your return to work plans.
- Your insurer (if applicable) – i.e. WorkSafeBC, long term disability, ICBC
What is the Enhanced Disability Management Program (EDMP)?
The EDMP program is applicable to union employees. It is a pro-active, customized disability management program designed to support staff who may be suffering from an occupational or non-occupational illness or injury. Services may include medical intervention, a transitional/graduated return to work plan, modified work and vocational services. For more information visit the Health Employers Association of BC's website.
Who pays for my doctor's note(s) and/or other medical forms?
Multiple factors may impact who pays for medical information. The following may apply to your current circumstance:
- In the event you are going to be absent from work for more than five days, you may be required to provide medical information to support your absence. Any costs associated with the initial medical information is your responsibility.
- If the absence and disability management team member requires more information, they may contact your doctor in writing, with your written consent. If the absence and disability management team member requires medical information from your treating physician, Fraser Health will cover the costs. If your doctor requests more than the standard fee, you may be responsible for paying the difference.
- If you are on an accepted Worksafe BC claim or an accepted Long Term Disability claim, the insurer may pay for medical information.
- If you are not sure if medical information is required, or who may be required to pay the fees, ask your assigned absence and disability management team member.
Who pays for my medical treatments?
Multiple factors may impact who pays for medical treatments. Depending on your situation, your treatments may be covered by ICBC, MSP, Pacific Blue Cross, Worksafe BC, Canada Life or Fraser Health.
If you have questions about paying for medical treatments, please contact your absence and disability management team member.
Am I allowed to use/go on vacation while I am off work?
If you had pre-scheduled and pre-approved vacation prior to your sick leave starting, please advise your absence and disability management team member of the dates of your vacation. Certain types of coding (such as vacation coding) may not be permitted while off work on sick leave. You may be able to go on your vacation, but vacation coding may not be allowed.
If you are on an accepted Worksafe BC or long term disability claim, you will need to tell your case manager about your pre-approved vacation. There may be an impact to your claim payments during the period of time you are away on vacation.
More information can be found in your Collective Agreement or your Terms and Conditions of Employment. You may also want to follow up with your union representative, if applicable, for more information.
How are my pay and benefits impacted while I am off work?
What will happen to my job?
Initially, while on an approved sick leave, your position is held for you. The time frame your job is held is dependent on your Collective Agreement or Terms of Employment. Your position may be posted temporarily by your department, on a relief basis, while you are away.
If you are unable to return to your previous role due to permanent medical limitations or restrictions related to your illness or injury, you may be eligible for a medical accommodation. Fraser Health's work accommodation process will help identify potential options for returning to work in a role that you are both capable and qualified to perform. Your absence and disability management team member can provide more information about this.
If your job is no longer available to you due to department changes, your absence and disability management team member or your union representatives (if applicable) will be able to help you understand what options may be available to you for return to work.
How do I access my Fraser Health email from home?
Other things to consider
Do you have a Fraser Health parking pass?
- Contact Fraser Health Parking to determine what your options are for placing a hold on your pass, or cancelling it.
Do you have Fraser Health-issued tech devices (phone, laptop)?
- Contact your manager to determine how to return these items until you need them again.
How will the absence and disability management team support me while I am off?
- Fraser Health's absence and disability management team works closely with your union (if applicable), insurance providers, your health care professionals and your department to support you in your recovery. We offer:
- Referral for early intervention services and/or enhanced disability management program. This may include access to treatment, diagnostics or consultations
- Recovery Planning
- Recover at Work Programs
- Work Accommodations
To learn more about this team and how they can help you, see the about absence and disability management team page.