Your employer's obligations

While you recovery from your workplace injury, there are certain obligations you and your employer need to participate in.

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How can my employer help?

Your employer plays a significant role in supporting your safe and sustainable return to work (RTW). Your employer should participate in activities (such as a medical case conferences and return to work planning) to support your recovery.

Through RTW planning, your employer can match your capacity and restrictions to the work tasks available in the workplace. In most circumstances your pre-injury duties will be the first option.

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Benefits of engaging with your employer

We know the longer you are off work, the less likely you can return to work. Collaboration with your employer is vital for a sustainable and supportive return to work. Participating in return to work planning with your employer is a proactive way to reduce the overall impact and timeline of your injury (The Australasian Faculty of Occupational & Environmental Medicine. 2011).

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Return to work (RTW) plan

Your employer should develop your RTW plan in consultation with yourself and your treatment team. This will assist with reviewing what support and modifications you require to RTW. The RTW plan will have a different goal and required steps based on your circumstances, such as maintaining pre-injury work duties.

Your employer can develop and review any updates to your RTW plan if required. Your tailored RTW plan should recognise your work skillset and capabilities in the workplace. Overall, your active participation with your employer with a RTW plan will ensure you RTW safely.

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What are suitable duties?

Suitable duties are tailored duties that take your capacity and restrictions into account. Your employer will try to accommodate and find appropriate suitable duties so that you can perform safely in your role while you recover.

If your employer is unable to provide suitable duties, your employer should attempt to accommodate in providing suitable employment if you can't return to your pre-injury role.

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Employer return to work obligations

Within New South Wales, employers have obligations that assist with your return to work and overall recovery. Your employer can support your return to work by providing suitable employment. The suitable employment must be the same or similar employment you were in during the time of your injury.

Your employer can collaborate with your treating parties, rehabilitation consultant and yourself to assist with identifying suitable employment.

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What happens if I can't return to my employer?

In some circumstances, it might not always be possible to return to work with the same employer. Your return to work goal is based upon your treating parties' recommendations and the duties your employer has available.

If your return to work goal changes due to medical restrictions or unavailable suitable duties, yourself and your treatment team may decide it is best to transition to a new employment pathway. The insurer can refer to a rehabilitation provider who can support you along the road to new employment in many ways. This can include conducting a vocational assessment and labour market assessment.

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