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Why and how to support positive rehabilitation

It’s good business practice and a legal requirement for employers to play an active role in their workers' rehabilitation.

Best practice

Support your injured worker, identify suitable duties and collaborate with your insurer and injured worker’s treating health providers on the rehabilitation and return to work plan. If you can’t provide suitable duties then you must provide a written notice to your insurer.

Why this is important

Playing an active role in the rehabilitation of your workers isn’t just best practice, it’s a legal requirement for employers and makes good business sense (PDF, 1.71 MB).

Work that is meaningful and accommodates a worker's injury benefits their health and wellbeing and your business.

When a worker considers their employer’s response to their injury to be fair and constructive, their return-to-work rate is up to 52 per cent higher.

What actions can I take now?

  • Be clear on what is expected of you in the return to work process. Rehabilitation and return to work roles, responsibilities and terms are detailed in our guidelines.
  • Calculate the return on investment by offering suitable duties to your workers. Take into consideration lost productivity and overtime, time and costs to reschedule or retrain replacement workers and any premium impacts. Also consider the positive cultural impact in your workplace when you support your workers.
  • Use job task analysis and return to work checklists to help develop a suitable duties program. The checklists can be shared with your worker’s treating team to help them identify safe duties to return to work sooner.
  • Ask your insurer if referral to a return to work services provider (sometimes called a workplace rehabilitation provider) is appropriate for your situation. You can ask your insurer about a preferred provider arrangement with one or multiple providers if you want consistency or an ongoing business relationship with a provider.
  • Collaborate with your insurer, worker and their treating team on the rehabilitation and return to work plan. It is the roadmap for your worker’s recovery and includes the suitable duties program/s and agreed steps to achieve shared goals. It should be tailored and person-centred.

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