If return to work issues arise, it’s important to resolve them as a team.
Return to work involves workers, employers, the WorkSafe agent, treating health practitioner and when relevant, an occupational rehabilitation provider. Any of these people can raise an issue. Regular communication is often the best way to avoid return to work issues altogether.
- An employer unreasonably delays or refuses to plan an injured worker’s return to work
- An employer inadequately plans an injured worker’s return to work
- An injured worker doesn’t agree with the employer’s proposed suitable employment and/or return to work arrangements
- An employer refuses to offer the injured worker pre-injury or suitable employment
- An employer refuses to provide or provides inadequate return to work related documentation to an injured worker
- An injured worker’s return to work coordinator is not nominated and appointed within the required timeframe
- A return to work coordinator is not considered to have adequately performed their functions
- An employer breaches the confidentiality of an injured worker’s personal information as it relates to return to work
- An employer refuses to consult or consults inadequately with other parties about the return to work of an injured worker
What are the steps to resolve return to work issues?
If a return to work issue does arise, it’s important to resolve it together. To help manage the process, it’s recommended to develop an agreed procedure that can be put in place if needed.
The procedure needs to be in writing and should be clear and accessible to all parties who may potentially be affected by a return to work issue.
If a return to work issue has been reported, the employer, return to work coordinator and the injured worker must meet and try to resolve the issue as soon as possible, within 20 days of the initial report.