Return to work

Early return to work assists with recovery, prevents deconditioning, and provides injured workers with workplace social support connections.

Long-term workplace absence, work injury and unemployment tend to negatively impact health and wellbeing.

In fact, we know injured workers are more than three times likely to return to work soon after their injury if their health professional communicates an expected return to work date (Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, Australian Government (2020). Returning to work after illness or injury (PDF, 2.3MB)).

Whilst we acknowledge that returning to work following a psychological injury is often recognised to be slower than a physical injury (Wyatt, M. Cotton, P. Lane, T, Safe Work Australia. Return to work in psychological injury claims (PDF, 2.2MB)), it is important to consider how to support workers return to work.

An injured worker does not need to be 100 per cent recovered to return to work (Comcare, Australian Government. Return to work (PDF, 0.7MB)).

We know returning to work is important for recovery, it is in the worker's and employer's best interest to support return to work as soon as possible. This could be reduced hours in their regular job, suitable or alternative duties.

How to support your employee with an early return to work

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