Incentives that are complicated and have been difficult to track as to how effective they may be could be part of the reason for creating new ways to create incentives for partial RTW. Have we thought about the incentive of providing new Technology and Accredited Training to employers as to how their organizations could reach their productivity goals with returning to work (part-time) employees?
Perhaps including virtual employment and matching two employees from the same organization (or even another) to share in ways their virtual partial employment could help meet the employer's goals could be incentivized in making this arrangement count for one FTE and providing tax credits for a full time employee versus two partial RTWs.
In other words, we live in tech based society and a workplace that is becoming more and more "virtual". However, virtual workplaces as accommodiations have been overshadowed with the "telework" and "enterprise" team initiatives for all workers. Disabled workers may need a bit more than a shift to doing their former job part-time at home.
An incentive for the employer could be that the virtual workplace is designed and and work assignments are matched to ways the employer's work product goals fit in a virtual environment. Perhaps the partial RTW employee could be assigned essential job functions that are unique to the team's goals and that can provide an integral role for the RTW employee in reaching team goals. Many times the job description and essential job functions of the partial RTW employee are only condensed or diminished in a partial RTW. Performance of old tasks in 20 hours versus 40 are then viewed inherently as "not up to par'. The rest of one's team views the partial RTW as a "part-timer" and diminishes what the true value of the employee's time and talent are worth. Attitudes can outweigh the opportunity for engagement and job satisfaction quickly.
Although this subject is focused on employer incentives, it bears stating that the employee's incentives in partial RTW are are also part of the "challenge". With current SSA "ticket to work" programs very few persons can risk losing their benefits by working. The restrictions on income and negative view of self employment by SSA make it very hard to find a way to return to work for persons with disabilities. Perhaps an additional incentive would be to end the taxation of SSA benefits at a higher level than current and to provide a higher income level beyond 9 months for those receiving SSA disability.
Returning to work as a disabled person should mean that you can view your employment in a partial RTW as a step back to productivity and not be in fear of losing one's benefits while doing so. Reaching only the poverty level in earned income is a dis-incentive for persons with disabilities to RTW partially and to feel as sense of hope and encouragement that they could become as productive as they were before not working.
Self employment incentives should be evaluated just as deeply as employer incentives for partial RTW.
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