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Workplace Support Services

Occupational rehabilitation services for workers to assist them return to work with their original employer.

Date: February 1, 2014
Keycode: 1591/01/09.13
Publication type: Information For Workers
Industries: Health Care And Social Assistance
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Description

This information for workers about occupational rehabilitation services for workers to assist them return to work with their original employer.Independent occupational rehabilitation providers will visit workplaces to review normal activities and meet with the treating health practitioner.

Workplace Support Services

Occupational rehabilitation services for workers to assist them return to work with their original employer.

Workplace Support Services are occupational rehabilitation services designed to provide you and your employer with information and support following a work related mental injury.

The service may also be helpful for situations where the relationship between you and your employer has broken down over time and may adversely affect your return to work if left unresolved.

How will Workplace Support Services help me?

An independent occupational rehabilitation provider will:

  • provide information and support to you and your employer
  • visit your workplace to review your normal duties
  • assist you and your employer to discuss workplace supports and options for return to safe work
  • meet with your treating health practitioner to help identify suitable duties.

After three months, your WorkSafe Agent will consider if other occupational rehabilitation services may be required.

Who provides this service?


Workplace Support Services are provided by an occupational rehabilitation provider approved by WorkSafe. You are able to choose which provider you would like to provide the services. These providers are experienced in dealing with workplace injuries and helping people back to work. They are also independent from WorkSafe and your employer.

Why have I been referred for this service?


Based on your individual circumstances, your WorkSafe Agent has decided you will benefit from Workplace Support Services. Information provided by your treating health practitioner may have assisted your Agent make this decision. You are encouraged to talk with your WorkSafe Agent about what you think would help you return to work.

What will happen now I have been referred for Workplace Support Services?


An occupational rehabilitation provider will contact you, your treating health practitioner and your employer to make an appointment to conduct an assessment. Generally, they will attend the workplace to observe your normal duties and consider what workplace support and options might be available while you recover.

The provider will complete a report based on this assessment, including an action plan proposing steps to address any identified return to work barriers. The aim is to create a common understanding between all parties about the actions that should be taken to get you back to safe work.

If the report indicates you would benefit from ongoing Workplace Support Services, the occupational rehabilitation provider will continue to monitor your progress and seek feedback from you, your treating health practitioner and your employer. The provider will provide you, your treating health practitioner, your employer and your WorkSafe Agent with updates on your progress.

Who will be at the assessment?

Depending on the circumstances, you, the occupational rehabilitation provider, your treating health practitioner and your employer may be present. You are entitled to be represented, assisted and supported in the return to work process by a nominated representative such as a family member, friend, colleague or union representative.

If you choose to involve a union representative, let the occupational rehabilitation provider know so they can ring them to arrange a suitable meeting time.

Who will receive a copy of my Workplace Support Services reports?


The occupational rehabilitation provider will send a copy of the report to you, your treating health practitioner, your employer and your WorkSafe Agent.

What role does my employer have in the Workplace Support Services process?


Your employer has an obligation to plan for your return to work. They must also, to a reasonable extent, provide you with suitable or pre-injury employment for 52 weeks whilst you have an incapacity for work from your injury.

When meeting their obligations to plan for your return to work, your employer should contact your treating health practitioner as they will have useful information about your recovery and what work may be suitable for you during this time.

Your employer should engage with services like Workplace Support Services which are approved by your WorkSafe Agent to support and assist you to return to work when the workplace relationship has broken down. Your employer should consider the reports from occupational rehabilitation providers as part of their planning for your return to work.

Do I have to attend appointments for Workplace Support Services?


Yes, you are reasonably required to attend and actively participate in the Workplace Support Services assessment and any other appointments, and to cooperate with the provider of the services. Your entitlement to weekly payments may cease if you do not actively participate, co-operate and make reasonable efforts to return to work.

When scheduling appointments, the occupational rehabilitation provider will try to accommodate any commitments or arrangements you may have had before being asked to undertake Workplace Support Services. It is important to let your occupational rehabilitation provider know if you cannot attend an appointment so that it can be rescheduled.

I have concerns about returning to work


If you have any issues or concerns about getting back to work, you should raise these with the occupational rehabilitation provider, your WorkSafe Agent Case Manager, or your nominated representative (if involved).

I need an interpreter


If you have a hearing impairment or your first language is not English, your WorkSafe Agent can arrange for a professional interpreter to attend the assessment and appointments. A family member or friend should not act as an interpreter for you.

Who pays for Workplace Support Services?



Workplace Support Services are provided as part of your WorkSafe claim.

Further information


For more information about Workplace Support Services, please contact your WorkSafe Agent, or the WorkSafe Advisory Service on freecall 1800 136 089 or (03) 9641 1444, email info@worksafe.vic.gov.au or contact your nominated union representative.


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