This is the third article in a three-part series that explores how the workers’ compensation system operates and the roles and responsibilities of both employers and employees after a worker suffers an injury or illness as a result of their work. In this story, we look at what businesses can do to ensure a workers’ compensation claim runs smoothly and how to support someone who makes a workers’ compensation claim to come back to work.
“Employers must also offer flexible working arrangements such as flexible working hours and work from home opportunities.”
Supporting staff to get back to work
There are many steps employers can take to help support staff members and their families following an illness or injury to get them back to work. In New South Wales, the icare injury management group provides information on how icare and its service partners can work with the employer and the injured person and other stakeholders such as to help the staff member return to work.
See list below where you can find out about how workers’ compensation operates in your state or territory:
- In NSW, go to icare or SIRA.
- In Victoria, go to WorkSafe Victoria.
- In South Australia, go to ReturnToWorkSA.
- In Western Australia, go to WorkCover WA.
- In Tasmania, go to WorkSafe Tasmania.
- In Queensland, go to WorkCover Queensland.
- In the Northern Territory, go to NT WorkSafe.
- In the ACT, go to Access Canberra.
Workers’ compensation and your responsibilities, a three-part series. Part two – what happens after a claim
How to ensure a claim goes smoothly
It’s really important for both the employer and the employee to submit all paperwork in a timely fashion to ensure payments are made as quickly as possible.
It’s also essential for employers to familiarise themselves with the workers’ compensation system in their state or territory before they have a claim, to make the process as smooth as possible.
It’s also imperative for employers that have a workers’ compensation claim to show care and consideration for the affected worker. For instance, it’s vital not to pressure workers to come back to work when either they are not ready or if they haven't received medical clearance to return to work.
Employers should be guided by the advice provided by doctors, rehab providers, physiotherapists and others about when a worker can return to work and what the worker will require on their return to work, for instance whether they may require assistance such as a new chair. This information should be sought before the worker comes back to the workplace
Employers must also ensure there are opportunities for the employee to perform light duties on their return to work if this is the recommendation of the worker’s treating doctors. It’s important to note the worker does not have to perform duties that are demeaning; the work they are assigned to do should be meaningful and add value to the organisation.
Employers must also offer flexible working arrangements such as flexible working hours and work from home opportunities if that’s the best way for the staff member to get back to work.
To avoid problems with workers’ compensation claims, employers should make sure they conduct regular training and have appropriate information available for all staff. This includes ensuring advice is readily available to all staff members about what to do in the event of any injury, making available instructions on how to make a workers’ compensation claim and making sure all the information workers need to provide when submitting a claim is also easily accessible.
While the workers’ compensation system may seem complex, there are many tools available to help navigate the claims process. It is in everyone’s best interests that workers’ compensation claims run smoothly so the workers can get back to work as quickly as possible and with as little disruption to the business as possible.
Important note - the information provided here is general advice only and has been prepared without taking in account your objectives, financial situation or needs. Steadfast Group Ltd (ABN 98 073 659 677, AFSL 254928)
Important disclaimer - Steadfast Group Limited ABN 98 073 659 677 and Steadfast Network Brokers.
The information provided here is general advice only.
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