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Returning to work after injury


In Australia, thousands of employees are injured in workplace incidents, a lot of these accidents can be avoided if safety measures are put in place and safety is adhered to by all.

If you have found yourself suffering due to a work-related injury, there is help available and you may be eligible to make a workers compensation claim. There are different schemes and rules surrounding workers compensation depending on the state you live in.

returning to work after injury

Injured at work: what do I do?

Being injured at work can be a very stressful and difficult time. Whether it’s temporary or permanent, adjusting to life after 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?

Time off to recover: will my workplace allow this?

As long as your workplace is fully informed of your injury and your accident, by law they need to allow you the time to recover and get better. Your recovery is of the highest importance, but it’s also important that you follow medical advice regarding your recovery and that you maintain regular contact with your employer on your progress and your return-to-work plan.

What are the steps to take to return to work after an injury?

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:

  1. See your doctor. They will advise you as to when you should return to work and whether you will need to reduce your hours and/or duties.
  2. 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 be able 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.
  3. Your employer may put together a “return to work” plan outlining your duties, specific recommendations and other relevant information.

What if I am unable to return work after an injury?

At times an injury in the workplace will mean that physically or mentally you won’t be able to do your job to the same pre-injury capacity or at all. In the event you are not able to return to your job or suitable employments with your current employer, WorkCover in your state may:

  • May arrange for you to do some retraining which will allow you to change roles or learn a new job.
  • Offer assistance to find you a safe, suitable and sustainable job with a new employer that will fit with your level of skill with an injury.

If you’re able to return to work after injury, it can have some positive impacts on your wellbeing. You may also find your recovery time is shorter than expected by returning to work in a safe and supervised way.

Contact Shine Lawyers

Shine Lawyers are experts in workers compensation claims and will work hard to help you right wrong from your workplace personal injury. If you’ve been injured while working you may have a claim for workers compensation. A qualified expert can help you to access the compensation you’re entitled to in order to get your life back on track. Let's right wrong, call us today for a free, no obligations chat.

Written by Shine Lawyers. Last modified: March 4, 2020.

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