Getting back to work is an important part of rehabilitation after a work-related injury or illness as it helps with your recovery. The longer you’re off work, the less likely you are to go back.
Ideally, you’ll go back to work early with your normal employer making changes to your work while you get better. This is called suitable duties and your employer must offer this if they can. However, in some cases it's not possible, for safety or practical reasons. This means you won’t be able to return to your normal job, either temporarily or permanently.
When this happens, the Recover at Work Program is a positive solution that benefits workers as well as employers.
What is Recover at Work?
If you’re still able to work but your employer can’t offer suitable duties, WorkCover can temporarily place you with a ’host employer' through the Recover at Work program.
This will be an employer who’s able to provide suitable duties in their workplace and has a track record of successfully supporting their own injured workers through recovery. WorkCover pays weekly compensation while you work for the host employer.
How does it work?
- A placement with a host employer can run for as little as three weeks, but typically goes for longer. Every situation is different and depends on your rehabilitation needs.
- WorkCover and your host employer will sign a legally binding document called a host deed (PDF, 0.02 MB), which commits you and the host employer to the program and protects you both (for example, if you were to be injured again).
- The aim is for an employer to provide a supportive work environment while you rebuild your ’work fitness’ and eventually return to your pre-injury role, if possible. Your host employer and their business also benefits from your skills and experience.
- There’s no requirement for the host employer to offer you a permanent job at the end of the program, but sometimes this does happen.
There is more information in this fact sheet (PDF, 0.24 MB) about the Recover at Work Program. To find out how the program can benefit you, whether you’re an injured worker or a potential host employer, read through the sections below.
If you’re interested in becoming a host employer or would simply like more information, please call your WorkCover contact. Alternatively, you can call 1300 362 128 and ask to be put through to a Customer Advisor in your industry.
There are numerous benefits to you taking part in the Recover at Work Program, such as:
- being able to return to work quickly and safely
- a daily routine while you recover physically, which is good for your mental health and wellbeing
- having the opportunity to further develop existing work skills
- experiencing less disruption to your family, work and social life
- continuing to earn, which takes away financial stress
- improving your work fitness gradually, which means better recovery outcomes
- being more likely to return to your pre-injury role or be employed elsewhere (either by your host or a new employer).
Becoming a host employer brings numerous benefits to your business and to your industry, such as:
- your business can utilise a skilled worker with no obligation to employ
- showcasing your industry leading employment practices
- being recognised as an industry leader and mentor.
- contributing towards reducing claims costs which helps keep industry premium rates low
- retaining skilled workers in your industry
- you can observe a worker's performance on the job
- you may get a six month exemption from claims (PDF, 0.13 MB), for aggravations to the injury, if a worker is employed at the end of the program.