What is meant by a progressive return to work for therapeutic reasons?

This involves a possible, gradual resumption of work for therapeutic reasons in agreement with the employer if the resumption of work and the work performed are recognized as being of a nature to promote the improvement of the employee’s state of health.

Since the legal provisions do not provide for a predefined period of work, the resumption of work may be gradual, depending on the state of health of the insured person, with a view to improving it.

How does one apply for a gradual return to work for therapeutic reasons?

Employees should submit a request to the CNS by means of a duly completed form and signed by the attending physician and the employee.

This form must be approved by the employer.

Progressive return to work for therapeutic reasons is subject to the condition that the employee has been unable to work for at least one month out of the three months preceding the application.

If the employer agrees to the principle of a gradual return to work for therapeutic reasons, the request must be sent to the CNS for approval.

Upon receipt, the CNS asks the Social Security Medical Examination to make a determination regarding the application. The decision will be sent as soon as possible to the employee and the employer.

The employee may begin the gradual return to work once the CNS has given its approval.

Do I need the employer's consent?

Even if the medical examination approves this process, it must be approved by the employer as well. The employer must agree to the employee only coming to work part-time.

What are the consequences for the employee?

Contrary to the former therapeutic part-time arrangement, where pay for working hours were assumed by the employer, progressive resumption of work is considered as a period of total incapacity to work and will be counted as such in determining the end of entitlement to benefits (78 weeks out of a 104-week period).

Employees are compensated up to 100% by the National Health Fund, provided that it is responsible for this payment and that the employee is covered by accident insurance.

As such, a medical certificate of 100% incapacity to work must be produced.

Do employees who are progressively returning to work get their entire statutory leave?

Employees who are returning to work on a progressive basis are considered totally unable to work for the period in question.

Absences due to illness or accident shall be considered as days of actual work.

Accordingly, work incapacity together with a progressive return to work gives entitlement to statutory leave.

Consequently, an employee who works half-time and is on half-time therapy is entitled to the full statutory annual leave, i.e. 26 working days.

However, employees may not take any days off during the period of progressive return to work.

Any interruption of the incapacity to work puts an end to the progressive return to work measure.

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