Returning to work during COVID-19
Employers should recognise that people returning after injury may be uncertain and concerned about how their job and way of working have been impacted by COVID-19 during their absence.
Keep in regular contact with injured workers - update them on how the workplace and work processes changed during their time away from work, and how this might impact on their return and suitable duties program
Why this is important
The uncertainty of how COVID-19 has changed the workplace may have an impact on the success of an injured worker’s rehabilitation and return to work plan.
Pandemic restrictions may also have opened new flexible options or different ways of working in the workplace that may impact on the worker’s suitable duties program.
Here are some resources and tools available to assist you to address a worker’s questions and concerns when returning workers to work during COVID-19:
- Beyond Blue has resources designed to help workers manage their mental health as they transition back to the physical workplace following working from home due to COVID-19. They also provide tips you can use as part of the return to work process, such as helping the worker manage information intake, how to navigate a ‘new normal’, and providing the opportunity to reconnect with colleagues:
- Remind supervisors and managers of the importance of reconnecting injured workers with their colleagues as they transition back to work. A phone call or catch up can make a real impact on the success of a rehabilitation and return to work plan. Consider introducing these resources in your workplace:
- icare’s information on how social connections help prevent injury
- Black Dog Institute’s guide for managers on supporting staff during COVID-19.
- Read about how to manage psychological health during the pandemic, as well as to help your workers to navigate uncertainty and changes in employment circumstances: