Whether it’s temporary or permanent, adjusting to life with a disability from an injury comes with many challenges. One of your considerations may be when you should go back to work and in what capacity? What rights do you have? What responsibilities do you and your employer have and how can you ensure that returning to work after injury is as simple and stress-free as possible?
I have been injured and am returning to work. What do I need to know?
There is no hard and fast rule for how long you should wait before returning to work. However there are several steps you should take during the process:
- See your doctor. They will advise you as to when you should return to work and whether or not it needs to be on reduced hours and/or duties.
- Speak to your employer. It’s their responsibility to make sure that you can return to work safely and it’s against the law for them to discriminate against you. They may have to lighten your responsibilities or alter your hours. Discuss your capacity to complete the requirements of the job and any workplace changes that may benefit you. 1
- Your employer may put together a “return to work” plan outlining your duties, specific recommendations and other relevant information. 2
What if it was a non-work related injury?
If you’ve incurred a non-work related injury, your employer still has a responsibility to provide you with assistance. They must do their best to ensure you can return to work as soon as possible and that you’re not discriminated against due to your injury. According to legislation, employers also have a responsibility to keep a sick or injured workers position open. 3
What are my rights and responsibilities?
Discrimination against an injured or disabled employee is against the law. Employers are responsible for making sure that injured employees and employees working with a disability can perform their roles safely and without fear of discrimination. Employers can also be held liable if one worker discriminates against another. 4
As an employee, you should do everything in your power to keep the injury from returning. This may include performing exercises recommended by a physiotherapist and – if your injury is psychological – avoiding known triggers. 5
Shine Lawyers are experts in personal injury. If you have been injured as a result of someone else's negligence you may have a claim.
If you’ve suffered a work injury, we can help. With our “no win, no fee” policy, we’ll help you to pursue your claim. To find out more and to contact us visit https://www.shine.com.au/service/workers-compensation/workplace-injury-lawyers.
Written by Shine Lawyers on January 3, 2019. Last modified: January 16, 2019.