Return to Work

Specialising in employee retention strategies to assist employers and their employees to stay at or return to work after an absence.

Our goal is to promote attendance, ability and retention by achieving improved employee health, safety and wellbeing at work.

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Why is this service needed?

Employers often struggle to support an employee.  

“Where do we start?” – Is a common question I hear during initial planning conversations. When people are at risk of absence or are already absent from work, they often feel vulnerable, disconnected from work, anxious about when they can return or will they be able to continue working.

We will help you put a plan in place.

Connect4Work was established to work in partnership with organisations to effectivley manage these situations and support both the employer and the employee to navigate a stay at work or return to work process to ensure it is timely, safe and sustainable.

When organisations proactively engage retention strategies:

  • They achieve a more inclusive workplace where the diversity of their staff is supported and management are compassionate. 
  • Employees feel valued and trust their employer to look after their wellbeing. 
  • Employees are more engaged and therefore more productive upon their return. 
  • The workplace culture transforms into an environment where open communication enables conversations to take place with acceptance of disability, mental health or other challenges faced by employees. 

This is a culture employees will want to be part of, loyal to and engage with. 

Wouldn’t you want this for your organisation?

Getting support for you and your business is easier than you think. Book in for a Return to work plan consultation with Mary!

Employer consultation

Do you have an employee who is absent from work? Are you unsure if or when they are coming back? Would you like help to support them and plan for their sustainable return? Do you know what reasonable accommodations might help in planning their return?
The Employer Consultation; Planning an Employee’s Return to Work is a 1 hour consultation for you to discuss return to work planning for a specific employee who is absent from the workplace.

Employee Vocational Rehabilitation report

An exploration of potential barriers experienced by an absent employee in moving toward work. A report is provided to the Employer detailing recommendations to support the employee plan for their return to work.

Connect4work case insight

“It’s the small things that make a difference. One lady returning to work commented how seeing that her desk was kept clear and uncluttered showed her that they were waiting for her return and had not forgotten about her.”

Early intervention in the process is critical as the longer the absence, the more difficult a return can be – 50% of people do not return after 6 months absence, increasing to 80% after 12 months.

Mary Finn, Founder Connect4Work

Did you know?

There is grant aid assistance available for employers

Grant aided assistance is available to private sector employers, which aims to assist the retention of an employee who has acquired a condition or impairment which may undermine their continued employability. The cause or nature of the illness, condition or impairment is not relevant for the purpose of the grant.

Client Experiences


Niamh Pentony

Ergonomist and Director at Boyne Ergonomics

Connecting with Mary at Connect4Work has provided me with the opportunity to use my current skills in an I area had not previously considered. Thanks to her input and the platform she provides, I understand the need to consider not only the physical needs of employees, but also the psychological needs when assessing the suitability of the work space.

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Laura Kate Reilly

Senior Occupational Therapist at Acquired Brain Injury Ireland

Mary delivered employer engagement training to our Step Ahead Plus team in October 2022. Mary approached the delivery of the training in a collaborative manner and ensured the learning objectives matched our expectations. The training was really informative and delivered in an interactive manner. Mary asked us for feedback at various points during the training ensuring it fulfilled our shared objectives. Thank you Mary 🙂

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HCB Group

Mary has worked as a case manager for HCB for several years. Mary’s role as a case manager with HCB is focussed on supporting employers and employees during the return to work journey, and she endeavours to work with them both to achieve positive outcomes. Mary recognises the importance of the case manager role and approaches her work with enthusiasm and care. She is a highly respected professional who we are fortunate to have working within our team.

Have a question for Mary?

When can an absent employee be referred for return to work planning?

This is one of the most frequently asked questions. 

The direct answer is, we suggest that once an employee has been absent for three weeks and it is looking likely that they will not return on the fourth week (it is at this point they are considered long term sick) that an employee can be referred to Connect4Work for assistance.

The in-direct answer is, that as soon as you find yourself asking any of these questions about an absent employee, it is time to reach out for some support:

  • What if I do/say the wrong thing?
  • I don’t know what the next steps are.
  • I don’t want to seem insensitive
  • I want to help, but just don’t know how
  • The team is being affected 

I love to hear from employers like you. I like to listen to your current challenges and if I can help, I will. 

Ask me anything!