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Gradual return to work proposed by the CNESST

A gradual return to work is a way to promote the worker's reintegration into their workplace. A gradual return may be proposed once the employment injury has healed or stabilized, when the CNESST renders a decision on ability to work. 

Before proposing a gradual return to work, the CNESST ensures that the period of absence or the worker's situation warrants it.

Financial support for a maximum period of 8 weeks may be offered to the employer when a gradual return is put in place in their establishment.

Gradual return to work start date 

A gradual return begins as soon as the decision on ability to work is rendered, unless there are special circumstances. When the worker is eligible for a gradual return, the CNESST prepares the implementation of the measure in collaboration with the worker and the employer. 

Financial support

Financial support begins on the first day of the gradual return to work. The payment is made according to the terms of the financial option chosen by the employer. The terms of payment (in French only) are the same as for a temporary assignment. 


The worker and the employer may contest a CNESST decision.

A worker who is not reinstated in their job or who believes that they have been discriminated against because of their employment injury may file an occupational health and safety complaint with the CNESST or use the grievance procedure provided for in their collective agreement.

Laws and regulations

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