Return to Work

Return to Work

SUMMARY

The Return to Work Policy establishes Macquarie University's approach to rehabilitation and return to work for staff members who have acquired an injury or illness as a result of a workplace incident or accident. The Procedure provides further information on how the University will help an injured staff member to return to work, and the reciprocal responsibilities of the injured staff member.

POLICY

Purpose

To document Macquarie University’s policy on rehabilitation and return to work for staff members who have acquired an injury or illness as a result of a workplace incident or accident. 

Overview

Effective and efficient injury management is an integral part of Macquarie University’s health and safety system.  The primary goal of a return to work program is returning an injured staff member to their pre-injury job, as the workplace is the most appropriate and effective place to rehabilitate most injured workers.

This Policy outlines the commitments of the University to the principles and practices of effective and efficient return to work for injured staff members. 

This Policy and the Return to Work Procedure satisfy the legislative requirements for Macquarie University’s Return to Work Program. 

DEFINITIONS
Injury Management Plan: a plan prepared by the Insurer that outlines all the services and treatments for an injured staff member.

Return to Work Plan: a plan agreed by the injured staff member, their treating doctor and the Injury and Claims Management Coordinator.  The plan details how many hours and duties the injured staff member can perform, as well as any medical restrictions and review dates.

Return to Work Program: the policy and procedure which describe the approach to returning an injured staff member to work following an injury or illness.

Transitional (suitable) Duties: duties that are consistent with medical advice and that are meaningful, productive and appropriate for the injured staff member’s physical and psychological condition.They are agreed between the Injury and Claims Management Coordinator and the injured staff member and aim to assist in rehabilitation and return to work. Suitable duties could include:
  • parts of the job the injured staff member was doing before the injury or illness
  • the injured staff member’s pre-injury job on reduced hours
  • training opportunities, or
  • different duties altogether. 
Worker’s Compensation: insurance designed to cover the cost of a staff member’s medical treatment and rehabilitation costs, and to assist them to recover and return to work as soon as practicable after a work-related injury. Depending on the type, nature and severity of the injury, an staff member may be eligible to receive one or more of the following benefits:
  • weekly benefits
  • permanent impairment benefits
  • medical, hospital and rehabilitation expenses
  • compensation for property damage.
ScopeThis policy applies to all staff employed by Macquarie University and its controlled entities.

Policy

Macquarie University is committed to supporting the rehabilitation and return to work of a staff member injured at the workplace by:
  • informing an injured staff member of their rights and responsibilities
  • commencing injury management activities as soon as possible after an injury, in a manner consistent with an injured staff member’s medical fitness for work
  • working collaboratively with key parties to provide support throughout the return to work process and to help minimise the effects of the injury or illness
  • ensuring that participation in a Return to Work Plan will not disadvantage an injured staff member
  • aligning an staff member’s Return to Work Plan with the insurer’s Injury Management Plan
  • providing transitional (suitable) duties for an injured staff member
  • implementing strict standards of confidentiality in the management of information related to rehabilitation and return to work. 
COMPLIANCE AND BREACHES
The University may commence applicable disciplinary procedures if a person to whom this policy applies breaches this policy (or any of its related procedures).

Policy Information

Contact OfficerManager, Health and Safety
Date Approved11 April 2012
Approval AuthorityDirector, Human Resources
Date of Commencement11 April 2012
Amendment Historyn/a
Date for Next ReviewApril 2015
Related Documents

Health and Safety Policy
Return to Work Procedure (see tab above)

Form
Incident/Accident Notification Form

Legislation
Workers Compensation Act, 1987 (NSW)
Workplace Injury Management and Workers Compensation Act, 1998 (NSW)
Policies / Rules Superseded by this Policy

Rehabilitation and Return to Work Policy, approved 24 June 2009

Keywords

Health and Safety, Workers Compensation, Return to Work, Injury Management, Rehabilitation

Asset ID = 423157

PROCEDURE

Purpose

To outline how Macquarie University will help an injured staff member to return to work following an injury or illness acquired as a result of a workplace incident or accident, and the reciprocal responsibilities of the injured staff member. 

Procedure

This procedure requires actions by the following: This procedure comprises the following main steps:
  • Report the injury
  • Make medical and insurance arrangements
  • Undertake rehabilitation and return to work
  • Support an injured employee
  • Notify insurer
  • Coordinate rehabilitation and return to work

Staff Member

REPORT THE INJURY
Report a work injury or illness to your supervisor within 24 hours of its occurrence.

Complete an online Accident/Injury Notification Form.

SEEK MEDICAL TREATMENT
Seek medical attention for your injury or illness from a medical practitioner of your choice. Nominate a medical practitioner who is prepared to participate in the development and ongoing arrangements for your Return to Work Plan.

Obtain a NSW WorkCover Medical Certificate from the medical practitioner outlining the required treatment and your capacity for work.

REQUEST TIME OFF WORK
If you need to take time off work due to your injury, complete a Workplace Injury/Illness Leave form. Forward this form, together with a copy of a NSW WorkCover Medical Certificate, to Human Resources. This allows you to access your sick leave until the Insurer has accepted liability for the claim.

UNDERTAKE REHABILITATION AND RETURN TO WORK
  • participate and cooperate with your supervisor in the development of your Return to Work Plan
  • authorise the Group Return to Work Coordinator  to contact your medical practitioner to discuss the injury and obtain advice on transitional (suitable) duties
  • undertake transitional (suitable) duties as agreed
  • report progress on your rehabilitation to your supervisor at regular intervals
  • submit updated NSW WorkCover Medical Certificates and reports to your supervisor or the Group Return to Work Coordinator as required
  • advise your supervisor and the Group Return to Work Coordinator of any changes in your medical status or capacity for work
  • advise of any difficulties with your return to work
  • receive compensation for claims accepted by Macquarie University’s insurer
  • raise any disputes about the Return to Work Plan or transitional (suitable) duties with the Group Return to Work Coordinator
  • actively participate in agreed issue resolution processes.

Supervisor

SUPPORT AN INJURED STAFF MEMBER
  • participate and cooperate in the establishment, implementation and supervision of an injured staff member’s Return to Work Plan
  • assist in the identification and provision of transitional (suitable) duties
  • liaise regularly with an injured staff member and the Group Return to Work Coordinator
  • actively support an injured staff member throughout their rehabilitation and return to work.

Group Return to Work Coordinator

NOTIFY INSURER
Notify the Workers Compensation insurer of an injury within 48 hours of being notified of the injury.

Liaise with the staff member and insurer on any worker’s compensation claims.

COORDINATE REHABILITATION AND RETURN TO WORK
Early assessment of whether or not there is a need for treatment and rehabilitation is important. Treatment and/or time off work as a result of a work-related injury may not be necessary in all cases. 

If rehabilitation is required, do the following:
  • provide information on the return to work process and worker’s compensation benefits to the staff member and their supervisor
  • determine the injured employee’s return to work needs, and prepare a Return to Work Plan, through discussion with the employee, their supervisor and nominated medical practitioner. Include the identification of transitional (suitable) duties as required
  • refer an injured employee’s case to the University’s Rehabilitation Provider if required (eg if the employee is facing barriers in returning to work)
  • liaise with the Rehabilitation Provider to ensure that they:
    • promote and support early and safe return to work of injured employees
    • identify and coordinate rehabilitation strategies to ensure an injured employee is able to safely perform their duties
    • communicate with relevant parties throughout service provision
    • act as an independent third party to facilitate negotiation and resolution of any issues.
  • work with the Insurer and injured employee to make alternative arrangements for an injured employee who is unable to return to their pre-injury job, including:
    • different job, same employer
    • same job, different employer
    • different job, different employer
  • liaise with the Insurer to ensure that they:
    • contact an injured employee within three working days of being notified of an injury
    • in the case of injury lasting more than seven continuous days, prepare an Injury Management Plan, in consultation with the injured employee, Group Return to Work Coordinator and the nominated medical practitioner
    • within seven days of being informed of an injury, begin paying weekly worker’s compensation benefits if required or advise an injured employee of the reason for not making payments
    • continue to pay benefits and reasonable expenses to an injured employee
    • provide advice and support to the Group Return to Work Coordinator on how best to proceed in the resolution of any issues.
  • assist the injured employee throughout the return to work process
  • work with the injured employee and other relevant parties to clarify any issues and resolve any dispute. Seek advice from the insurer about how best to proceed in situations where a dispute is unable to be resolved.  This may include, but is not limited to, involving an accredited rehabilitation provider or injury management consultant.
During the recovery process, ensure that participation in a Return to Work Plan will not, of itself, disadvantage an injured employee by:
  • allowing an injured employee to access their sick leave until the Insurer has accepted liability for the claim
  • allowing an employee to continue with higher duties or scheduled training, in so far as those activities are consistent with medical advice
  • ensuring any monies owed to an injured employee by Macquarie University are paid as soon as is practicable
  • addressing any disagreements or issues with the Return to Work Plan as quickly as possible, so as not to hinder an injured employee’s recovery.

Document
Upon receipt of a worker’s compensation claim, establish a rehabilitation file for each employee undertaking rehabilitation activities. Include in the file all documents, correspondence and other information relevant to the return to work process. This file is held on the Health and Safety Computer system and access is limited to authorised Health and Safety Staff.

Keep accurate and objective Worker’s Compensation case notes of all communications, actions and decisions and outline the reasons for these actions and decisions.

Date and sign each file note.

Procedure Information

Contact Officer Manager, Health and Safety
Date Approved11 April 2012
Approval AuthorityDirector, Human Resources
Date of Commencement11 April 2012
Amendment Dates n/a
Date for Next Review April 2015
Related Documents

Health and Safety Policy
Return to Work Policy
Writing Worker’s Compensation Case Notes Guideline
Macquarie University Enterprise Agreement

Forms
Incident/Accident Notification Form
Workplace Injury/Illness Leave Form

Legislation
Workplace Injury Management and Worker’s Compensation Act, 1998 (NSW)
Keywords Work Health and Safety, Workers Compensation, Return to Work, Injury Management, Rehabilitation

Asset ID = 423157

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