If you're an employer and you have a worker who’s experienced a work-related injury or illness, you must help them return to work safely if you can. There are a number of things you should do to make this happen.
What is my role?
You’re required to support your worker through rehabilitation, early and safe return to work. Research shows that this is a very important part of their recovery. This could mean making changes to their work while they recover. Your worker's rehabilitation should start as soon as safe to do so after the injury has happened.
What are my responsibilities?
As an employer, you’re responsible for helping or providing an injured worker who has sustained an injury with rehabilitation.
- Follow the seven principles set out in the Guidelines for Standard for Rehabilitation(PDF, 0.58 MB) to make sure your worker has support to stay at or recover at work.
- You must report the injury and start the claim process. You might need to pay an excess if your worker has taken time off and their claim is accepted.
- Contact your worker as soon as you can after the injury.
- Talk with your worker about workplace changes to support safe work.
- Take time to understand how the injury is affecting your worker both physically and mentally.
- You can offer flexible working arrangements to help your worker come back to work and find other work for them to do if needed. If you're unable to do this, your insurer can talk to you about other options.
- Keep an eye on your worker’s recovery process, making beneficial changes to their work as they improve. Continue to let your insurer know how they are going.
- Make sure your rehabilitation and return to work coordinator (and any other key staff such as a supervisor) have the right skills and training and are supporting your worker as required.
- Put in place and maintain effective workplace rehabilitation policies and procedures (PDF, 0.26 MB)
- You must not dismiss an injured worker within 12 months of sustaining an injury solely or mainly because the worker is not fit for employment in a position.
- Use workers’ compensation documents to support your worker’s rehabilitation but not for any purpose relating to their employment (i.e. any disciplinary action, or decisions about whether their employment should continue).
You must also appointment a Rehabilitation and Return to Work Coordinator and have workplace rehabilitation policies and procedures (PDF, 0.26 MB) in place if you have:
- annual wages in Queensland 5,200 times Queensland full-time adult's ordinary time earnings (QOTE) for the preceding financial year or
- are in a high risk industry with wages in Queensland for the preceding financial year of 2,600 times QOTE,
The rehabilitation and return to work coordinator must be based in Queensland, employed under a contract and be skilled, experienced or trained to perform the role.
Speak to your insurer if you are unsure if you meet this requirement.
What support is available?
Access free independent and confidential support for you and your workers through the following support services:
- Workers’ Psychological Support Service
- Workers’ Compensation Information and Advisory Service for injured workers
- Workers’ Compensation Information Services for Queensland employers.