The chance of a worker returning to their normal job is greatly improved when all stakeholders involved in the injury management process work together.
Understanding each person’s role and responsibilities is necessary to ensure that the worker receives the highest level of support and assistance as possible.
It allows stakeholders to connect and work together to solve any barriers preventing the worker from successfully going back to work on a regular and sustainable basis.
Actively participates in rehabilitation as soon as possible once an injury has occurred. The worker should contribute to return to work planning straight away while they wait for the insurer to assess their claim for compensation.
- Seek medical attention and notify their employer when an injury occurs
- Complete and sign all necessary forms
- Participate in medical treatment and rehabilitation programs
- Ensure WorkCover (or their employer if they are self-insured) has a copy of all current Work Capacity Certificates
- Make every effort to go back to work
- Contribute to return to work planning
- Perform alternative duties at work if unable to perform normal job
- Maintain regular and honest communication with doctors, the employer and the insurer
- Advise WorkCover or the insurer if their condition or treatment changes
- Inform WorkCover or the insurer if they are receiving Centrelink payments
- Tell WorkCover or the insurer if they are returning to work of any kind, whether paid or unpaid
Provides the worker with rehabilitation and assist them to return to work as part of their recovery. This process should start as soon as possible after the injury has occurred. Employers should not wait for an application for compensation (i.e. claim) to be accepted by an insurer to commence this process.
An employer is to appoint a rehabilitation and return to work coordinator and have workplace rehabilitation policies and procedures if certain wage thresholds are met.
- Report the incident and initiate the claim
- Pay an excess to WorkCover if the worker has taken time off work due to their injury
- Make contact with the worker as soon as possible following knowledge of the injury
- Administering and monitoring compliance with the standard for rehabilitation
- Establish early that the goal is for the worker to return to work
- Encourage the worker to come back to work if it's safe for them to do so
- Ensure that rehabilitation and return to work coordinators perform their prescribed functions
- Understand how the injury has impacted the worker
- Consult the worker about setting return to work goals
- Find other work for the worker to perform if needed
- Clearly delineate return to work from any performance management process
- Offer the worker flexibility to allow them to come back to work
- Ensure the worker has the appropriate support at the workplace to continue working, or, return to work following injury
- Regularly review the worker’s recovery progress and amend their work as their level of ability improves
- Keep WorkCover or the insurer informed of the worker’s progress in returning to work
- Develop, maintain and monitor compliance with, or effectiveness of, workplace rehabilitation policies and procedures.
Proactively supports the worker with their rehabilitation and return to work plan
- Assist the worker transition back to the team
- Help solve any problems identified
- Monitor the rehabilitation and return to work plan to ensure it stays on track
- Maintain positive communication with the worker about their progress
- Find opportunities to keep the worker engaged in the workplace
Rehabilitation and Return to Work Coordinator
An employee who assumes this role, if an employer is not required to have a dedicated Rehabilitation and Return to Work Coordinator
Provides overall coordination of the worker’s return to work.
- Initiate early communication with the worker to clarify the nature and severity of the injury
- Consult with the worker to develop a personalised suitable duties plan
- Ensure the worker’s duties adhere to their level of capacity as assessed by their treating doctor/s
- Liaise with any person engaged by the employer to help with the worker’s rehabilitation and return to work
- Regularly communicate with WorkCover or the insurer regarding the worker’s progress
Insurer: WorkCover Queensland or a self-insured employer
Guides the return to work process, communicates with all parties, and approves and reimburses the costs of rehabilitation.
- Assess and decide on claims for compensation
- Make reasonable payments and determine ongoing benefits for financial entitlements for accepted claims
- Support workers to return to work as part of their rehabilitation
- Coordinate the development and maintenance of a rehabilitation and return to work plan in consultation with all parties
- An insurer can be involved in undertaking an advisory role to assist the employer with their rehabilitation and return to work obligations
- Liaise with all parties to monitor the progress of the worker
Provides appropriate immediate and ongoing clinical care to a worker to assist them to recover from their injury as soon as practicable.
- Assess injuries and identify appropriate medical treatment
- Complete a Work Capacity Certificate and provide this to the worker
- Provide ongoing medical advice to the worker, insurer and employer as to the worker’s safe level of physical and psychological capacity
Injury Management Coordinator
External rehabilitation providers engaged by either the insurer or employer, to provide assistance with injury management.
- Consultation with insurers to assist with rehabilitation and return to work plans
- Provision of workplace assessments
- Liaison with treating health professionals, ensuring treatment is directed towards rehabilitation goals
- Can assist employers developing an injury management plan