There are many different manifestations of brain injury, and in the same way that our brains are all different, all brain injuries are unique and affect people in a variety of ways. It is important to consider the particular employee’s needs when assessing whether they can return to their previous role.
For example, an accountant who has suffered a stroke resulting in ongoing physical disability, but with their pre-injury intellect intact, may well be able to return to their pre-injury role provided they have the correct assistive equipment and support.
Conversely, a plumber suffering a similar injury may not be able to return to the same role because of the physical demands of the job. A truck driver who has suffers from epilepsy following a brain injury won’t be able to continue in the same role, given that they will most likely be unable to drive.
Employers are under a duty to consider alternative employment for employees who are unable to continue in their previous role. For example, if the truck driver in the above example works for a distributor that also runs warehouses, they may be able to work in the warehouse instead.
A full assessment of your employee’s abilities to carry out work by a qualified medical professional is essential prior to their return. Only then can you consider whether they will be able to return to their previous role. Employers should consider any capability procedure that they have in place, as this is likely to apply to the process of considering alternative employment for the employee.
It’s important that you are also aware of your legal obligations, and that you seek advice from a specialist in employment law.