Labour hire: return to work

Labour hire agencies and hosts both have legal responsibilities for helping an injured worker return to work. This page explains who is responsible for what.

On this page

  • Labour hire agency obligations
  • Host obligations
  • What if a host is not cooperating
  • Employer penalties
  • More information on returning to work

Labour hire agency obligations

The labour hire agency must:

  • plan for your worker's return to work, this includes the requirement to:
    • gather relevant information about the worker's capacity for work
    • consider reasonable workplace support, aids or modification to assist your worker's return to work
    • assess and propose options for what tasks the worker can do when they return to work. This may include altered duties if they have limited capacity or pre-injury employment if they have fully recovered. Provide clear, accurate and current details of the return to work arrangements
    • monitor your worker's progress and make adjustments as capacity changes.
  • consult with your worker, the treating health practitioner, with the consent of the worker, and occupational rehabilitation provider if one is involved, about the return to work process
  • appoint a Return to Work Coordinator who has an appropriate level of seniority and is competent to help you meet your return to work obligations
  • make return to work information available to all workers, including information about your obligations as an employer and how you will meet these.

Host obligations

The host must, to the extent that it is reasonable, cooperate with the labour hire agency in meeting its return to work obligations and facilitate a worker's return to work.

Here are some examples of how you can work together:

  • respond as soon as possible to the labour hire agency's request for assistance
  • provide a nominated workplace contact for return to work issues
  • provide the labour hire agency and other parties involved in the return to work process with reasonable access to the workplace
  • be available for discussions about providing duties, return to work planning and consultation
  • provide information regarding progress of the injured worker's return to work and their duties
  • explore options for providing suitable duties at your workplace, consistent with the injured worker's capacity
  • explore solutions with the labour hire agency that address barriers to the injured worker's return to work
  • provide reasons if you decide not to provide the injured worker with suitable duties.

What if a host is not cooperating?

If a labour hire agency believes a host is not cooperating with them to the extent that is reasonable, they can talk to their WorkSafe Agent (Agent) or contact the WorkSafe Advisory Service on 1800 136 089.

Employer penalties

Labour hire agencies and hosts who breach their return to work obligations risk financial penalties and possible prosecution.