Conceptualizing Responsible Return to Work: Corporate Social Responsibility in Relation to Employee Return to Work After Cancer

Branicki, Layla; Kalfa, Senia and Brammer, Stephen (2020). Conceptualizing Responsible Return to Work: Corporate Social Responsibility in Relation to Employee Return to Work After Cancer. Work, Employment and Society (Early Access).

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177/0950017020955092

Abstract

Demographic change, improvements in medical screening and treatment, evolving patterns of work, and eroding social security systems are contributing to greater numbers of seriously and chronically ill employees within the workforce. This study builds upon research in CSR and return to work (RTW) to conceptualize responsible return to work (RRTW). The study draws upon first-hand accounts of Australian women breast cancer survivors to inductively theorize the factors influencing RRTW practices. RTW practices that accommodate illness as required by law and regulation are found to be insufficient to meet employees’ needs and expectations and significant challenges for RTW are caused by this frame of reference and the distinction between medically certificated and non-medically certificated leave. Interactions between the economic case for creating mutual benefit through cooperation between employer and employee and the moral case for on-going tailored workplace adaptations as part of RRTW are critically evaluated.

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