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The results are in! 2021 National Return to Work Survey

Best practice

Understanding where to focus your attention as an employer or RRTWC when helping workers will help you get the best results.

Why this is important

Staying up to date with reports such as the National Return to Work Survey (NRTWS) will help you understand the experiences of injured workers and what may influence their return to work outcomes.

According to the survey results, Queensland injured workers had a return to work rate of 92.3 per cent in 2021, above the national average of 91.6 per cent. Queensland also achieved a significantly higher percentage of workers reporting that they are currently working, working the same hours, and/or working the same duties as they did prior to their injury.

Queensland’s injured workers identified they:

  • were less likely to have a rehabilitation and return to work plan (61.9 per cent, compared to 67.2 per cent national average)
  • rated employer support across all attributes as below the national average
  • were significantly less likely to have been contacted by a RRTWC during their recovery (50.4 per cent, compared to 57.3 per cent national average)
  • reported above average access to medical care (86.4 per cent compared to 86.2 per cent national average), but were more likely to access just one medical provider (most likely a GP or surgeon).

These are areas that Queensland employers and rehab and return to work coordinators can positively influence to help achieve better outcomes.

You can make a difference by:

  • maintaining early, direct contact with an injured worker to check in on how they are going, and continuing to keep in regular contact while they remain off work
  • talking to your insurer about access to a workplace rehabilitation provider. Workplace rehabilitation providers are qualified health professionals who are independent of other stakeholders and specialise in the complex needs of workers and employers to achieve timely and sustainable return to work outcomes. If you work in a small business without a dedicated RRTWC, a workplace rehabilitation provider can help to provide overall coordination for an injured worker’s rehabilitation and return to work.

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