A new two-tier service has been developed that is designed to help different types of employees return to work after working from home during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Health Claims Bureau (HCB), which has launched the new service, said the return to work process “can be an anxious one and is not the same for all”.
A HCB spokesman said the organisation has developed a “fully scalable”, two-tier service to support individuals and employers “every step of the way”.
Tier 1 is aimed at those without pre-existing health conditions but who have been furloughed or subject to working from home restrictions and have voiced some anxiety about returning to their usual work environment.
The HCB spokesman said the service has been created to support both the employee and the employer with practical aspects of their return to work plan. The service is designed to be a simple one-off telephone call whereby an HCB Case Manager listens and works through any concerns. A report is then compiled and sent to the employer.
In addition, HCB offers employers the opportunity to take a “proactive approach” in supporting their staff back to work, the spokesman said.
The three-step process in Tier 1 begins bys employers providing HCB with a full list of employees who are scheduled to return. A HCB case manager calls each employee to determine if they have any concerns or issues that they would like to be addressed prior to their return.
During these calls, if any individual is identified as high risk, an additional conversation would be held and they would, subject to agreement with the employer, be transitioned into the Tier 2 service.
Tier 2 service is aimed at employees who have a pre-existing mental health condition or are deemed ‘high risk’ by Public Health England and have expressed anxiety about returning to work.
During the Tier 2 process, a HCB case manager will ascertain all details from the employee to ensure their needs can be met once back in the workplace. The case manager will also work with the employer to ensure they have guidance and support in all areas needed, and that any workplace modification is enabled prior to their return.
A detailed report will be produced by the HCB case manager. If additional support is required, the employee can, subject to agreement with the employer, be transitioned into HCB’s standard Case Management service.
In addition to the new COVID-19 return to work service, HCB has partnered with occupational and coaching psychologist specialist Best Hopes in order to help to support people who experience burnout, mental health issues, workplace stress, anxiety and low mood.
The HCB spokesman said Best Hopes has an “excellent underpinning of evidenced-based” psychological techniques that support employees and claimants with their self-management, motivation, engagement, and self-confidence.
The spokesman said they process enables employees to build resilience and get back into a routine of work after a period of absence, especially where their mental wellbeing has been affected, and deliver this through a range of brief psychological interventions.
The spokesman said: “Best Hopes are pro-people and pro-work, based on the premise that with the right support and techniques people are better off in work. They are industry leaders in utilising coaching for improved mental health, wellbeing and enhanced communication and we are delighted to now be partnering with them.”