February/March 2023 (vol. 19/5)

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The smart return-to-work plan: Part 2

Part 2: the build


In the second of a two-part article, Kim Burton and Serena Bartys are joined by Abasiama Etuknwa to explain how to build and implement a ‘smart’ return- to-work plan.

We now largely accept that good work is good for health. So, it seems intuitive that a return to work (RTW) should also be ‘good’ to facilitate the best possible outcomes for all involved. Like good work, a good return to work requires good intentions. In part one, we outlined the underpinning evidence as well as a conceptual basis for smart RTW plans for workers with health problems1. In this article, we offer guidance from our latest research for building and implementing these plans.


As part of a Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) between the re-insurer Swiss Re and the University of Huddersfield2, we have been designing an interactive digital RTW tool specifically aimed at empowering the worker…


Professor Kim Burton is a freelance researcher and professor of occupational healthcare at the University of Huddersfield.

Dr Serena Bartys is a principal research fellow/ associate professor at the University of Huddersfield.

Dr Abasiama Etuknwa is the research project coordinator for the Knowledge Transfer Partnership between the University of Huddersfield and Swiss Re.

Author: Burton K, Bartys S, Etuknwa A


Occupational Health at Work February/March 2023 (vol. 19/5) pp16-25

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