Recovery and Return to Work

Staying at work while ill or injured

There are two ways to access services through Homewood Health, the university's health recovery partner, to help you stay at work while ill or injured.

Self Referral

A self referral is a request you make directly to Homewood Health. It is typically completed when you are managing work but your health is compromised and potentially deteriorating. Homewood Health will focus their efforts on assisting you through your recovery and return to full capacity. They will not contact your supervisor or the university.

To start a self referral, email Homewood Health at with the subject line "SELF REFERRAL”. Include:

  • First Name
  • Last Name
  • Faculty
  • Department
  • Preferred Phone #

We do not recommend that medical information be sent by email.

Assisted Referral
An assisted referral is a formal request to Homewood Health from your supervisor on your behalf. Once your supervisor notifies Homewood Health, a Health Support Consultant will reach out to you both to evaluate your needs, and will work with you on medical and rehabilitative supports to assist you in your recovery and return to full capacity.
If you are experiencing a health issue that is affecting your work, we recommend you discuss it with your supervisor. This will ensure they understand how your work is being affected and will help avoid performance concerns. You and your supervisor can agree to modifications that support you in remaining at work while you recover. It is not necessary to discuss your diagnosis or treatment.

Returning to work after an illness or injury

Recovering from an illness or injury can be challenging. Work can be a healthy part of your recovery, not just something you do after your recovery. Work with modified hours or duties can help reduce your recovery time and maintain a connection to your colleagues.

If you are off work due to an illness or injury, your Homewood Health Support Consultant will work with a U of A Return to Work Consultant to assist with return to work planning.

If you are off work due to a work-related injury or illness, a Workers’ Compensation Board Case Manager will work with a U of A Return to Work Consultant to assist with return to work planning.

Services to support your recovery and return to work

U of A Return to Work Consultants

Human Resource Services’ return to work consultants help staff make a plan to return to work after an illness or injury. Our goal is to ensure you come back safely and sustainably. Return to work consultants receive referrals from WCB and Homewood Health, at which point they will connect with the employee and supervisor to discuss employee limitations and unit needs.

We work with you and your supervisor to coordinate temporary work modifications based on your temporary medical restrictions or limitations, and the worksite’s operational needs. Modifications may include:

  • Adjustments to duties
  • Adjustments to hours of work
  • Temporary placement in rehabilitative employment

We’ll also collaborate with you to evaluate and adjust the plan to your recovery as required.
Connect with a consultant anytime at

Homewood Health

The University of Alberta partners with Homewood Health to help ill or injured staff recover and continue to work by providing access to resources, rehabilitation or other services. As a University of Alberta staff member, you are eligible for health recovery support services from a Homewood Health Support Consultant.

Your consultant can coordinate and often expedite access to rehabilitative and assessment services sooner than a physician referral. When working with the consultant, many of these costs may be covered by the University.

Homewood Health holds medical information on a secure site and server separate from the University of Alberta. Homewood Health meets all provincial and federal privacy legislation for the protection of personal health information.

Temporary and permanent accommodations

A formal medical accommodation under the Discrimination, Harassment and Duty to Accommodate Policy may be required when a staff member experiences a health related physical or mental disability (due to an illness, injury or birth defect) as defined under the Alberta Human Rights Act and supported by medical evidence.

If assessed as meeting the duty to accommodate criteria, Health Recovery and Return to Work Services will facilitate the development of a written Accommodation for Medical Reasons Agreement in collaboration with the staff member, the staff member's department/unit and other stakeholders as required.

Request a permanent accommodation
  1. Review your accommodation needs with your supervisor. You do not need to discuss your medical condition with your supervisor—they will need to understand your work related restrictions/limitations in order to consider how to address the need.
  2. Contact Health Recovery and Return to Work Services at 780-492-0636 or to review your situation. If appropriate, the Request for Permanent Accommodation form will be emailed to you.