Workers' Compensation Safety Board of Nova Scotia

Transitional and Modified Duties

When an injury occurs, the goal for both the workplace and the worker is to get things back to the way they were before the injury. 

This is where transitional duties come in:

Transitional duties are any temporary changes to the worker’s job tasks that align with their functional abilities – what the worker is able to do. If the worker is unable to immediately return to their original job, providing transitional duties will help them recover, contribute to valuable work and reduce or eliminate the claims costs associated with lost time from work.

Planning transitional duties is the process of determining work tasks that can be provided to an injured worker during their recovery. The physical demands of the job tasks must be known and must not exceed the physical ability of the worker. 

Transitional duties must be meaningful, productive and within the injured worker’s skills and abilities. When a worker returns to transitional duties, it’s your responsibility to work with them to progressively increase duties as their ability improves. Remember – the transitional assignment is intended to be temporary.

Transitional duties should be as closely related to the original job as possible given the worker’s restrictions, and the transitional assignment should be short-term. A date to return to regular duties should be clearly determined at the outset based on when the worker is physically able to return to their original job.

Finding solutions together

We realize that it may not be possible for some workplaces to offer transitions duties due to the size and job functions involved. We welcome the opportunity to help these workplaces and workers find solutions. Please contact us to see how we can help at 1-800-870-3331.