Return to work programs

All employers must have a  return to work program which consists of a formal policy and procedures to help injured workers with their recovery and with getting back to work.

It outlines your commitment to assisting injured workers to remain at work or return to work safely and as soon as possible following a workplace injury or illness.

The program must be clearly communicated to workers and provided to any worker on request. Penalties apply if you fail to do this.

Developing a return to work program

If you're an employer you must develop a return to work program in consultation with workers and any union representing those workers within 12 months of becoming an employer.

If you're a category one employer (with a basic tariff premium exceeding $50,000 per annum, or self insured, or insured by a specialised insurer and employs more than 20 workers), a return to work program must be developed in accordance with our Guidelines for workplace return to work programs.

If you are a category two employer (any employer who is not a category one employer), you are permitted to adopt the standard return to work program prepared by us.

A category one employer must engage a return to work coordinator.

Shared return to work program

A group of two or more category one employers may establish and use a return to work coordinator to develop a shared program if you provide us with a copy of the return to work program and demonstrate:

  • you have a common interest, such as same industry or same geographical location
  • shared or outsourced arrangements will provide improvements in the provision of return to work services
  • workers will not be disadvantaged

The return to work coordinator should also have significant experience in workplace rehabilitation.