Supporting an injured employee's return to work as soon as possible after an accident is important in the recovery process. Returning to work can help prevent further negative effects on the employee’s personal life and also enables a business to retain experienced employees and reiterate its commitment to the recovery and rehabilitation of the employees.
To assist in the injured employee’s recovery, the following steps should be taken into consideration in providing positive support:
- Ensure the employer and the employee’s co-workers keep in contact with the employee while they are away from work and invite them to any relevant workplace functions
- Once the employee has the capacity and the doctor’s permission to return to work, the employer should regularly meet with the employee to ensure that their return to work is as effective and positive as possible
- Employers are legally obligated to find suitable employment upon the employee’s return to work. The employee may return to either full-time or part-time work and may need to modify previous duties or undertake alternative duties. The employee’s case manager and rehabilitation and return to work coordinator (if relevant) will help the employer find suitable employment within the workplace
- Inform the employee’s co-workers of the employee’s return to work and modified duties or reduced hours
- To ensure the employee is safe and comfortable, the employer may need to make necessary changes to the workplace to assist the employee in carrying out specific duties
- The employee may need ongoing medical treatment even after he/she has returned to work. It is important the employer supports this and plays an active role in the employee’s progress by being aware of ongoing treatment and/or medical review.
For further advice about assisting an injured employee’s return to work, call the Business Advisory Centre on 8300 0101.