“Earlier early intervention – an evidence-based approach to RTW, from an income protection viewpoint” – progress update

DATE / TIME 28/11/2023
12:00 pm - 1:00 pm

The aim of the research project was to develop a return-to-work “intervention” that could be implemented earlier than our current income protection insurance policy deferred periods/notification timeframes usually allow i.e., ideally from day 1 or at least within the first 4 weeks of absence. 


We are now in the second phase of this project and the “intervention” we set out to develop – a digital RTW guide for workers, to support them in feeling empowered to take control of their RTW journey – has now been built and is being piloted with employer and insurer clients. 


Our presentation will demonstrate what the guide looks like and how the e-learning resources provided within the guide facilitates the building, sharing, and agreeing of a personalised smart Return to Work Action Plan. We will also aim to share some preliminary findings from our running pilots. Insights from these pilots will inform further iteration of the guide and an improvement to the deployment process. 

Explanatory flyers will be made available. 

Burton K, Bartys S. ‘The smart return to work plan – Part 1: the concepts. Occupational Health [at Work] 2022:19:22-27 LINK 

Etuknwa A, Bartys S, Burton K. ‘The smart return to work plan – Part 2: the build’. Occupational Health [at Work] 2023; 19:16-25 LINK  


Bios of Speakers 

Stephanie McCahon, Claims Medical Manager, Swiss Re 

B. Occ. Thy (Hons), Cert. CII 

Stephanie trained as an occupational therapist and has worked in rehabilitation roles in Australia and the UK. She joined Swiss Re’s life and health claims team in 2008. As Claims Medical Manager, leading a team of allied health professionals, and currently in a product innovation role, Stephanie works with Swiss Re’s insurer clients to apply clinical best practice to best practice disability claims management. Stephanie is committed to ensuring Swiss Re is an industry leader in championing evidence-based early intervention, holistic health management and sustainable return to work, and is proud that this goal is clearly reflected in Swiss Re’s broader company mission: to make the world more resilient. 



Dr Abasiama Etuknwa, Research Project Coordinator, Swiss Re. BSc., MSc., PhD. 

Dr. Abasiama Etuknwa (Sema) is currently the Research Project Coordinator for the RTW project, working within Swiss Re’s life & health underwriting and claims innovation and analytics unit. She holds a PhD in Business and Management. Her research interests are within the areas of work, health, and disability. She is particularly interested in determining practical solutions to reducing work-related risk to health, sickness absence and helping workers on sick leave return to work sustainably. 


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