Your doctor will certify that you have some capacity for work once you’ve recovered from a workplace injury. You are now qualified for assistance with finding employment.
Unfortunately, because they are unsure of their rights and obligations, many employees find the return to work procedure to be difficult. Many employees have expressed to us how the entire process of returning to work makes them feel intimidated and helpless.
Return to Your Employer’s Workplace
The ultimate objective for the employer and the injured employee should be a successful return to work with the employer where the injury happened. Your employer may require the aid of an outside rehabilitation provider to help with planning and supervising the return to work throughout the return to work phase of your recovery. Minor adjustments to your role could be necessary for this situation so that you can keep working despite your medical limitations.
A case conference with you, the rehabilitation provider, and your doctor may be appropriate to discuss the return to work. You have the right to select the rehabilitation facility and participate in all decisions relating to the return to work programme as the injured worker.
With the goal of getting you back to your pre-injury role or something comparable, your company should implement a meaningful return to work programme and assign you to similar work.
Career Development and New Employment
A rehabilitation provider may be required to help you locate suitable alternative employment or further training if you are unable to return to work with your employer for whatever reason.
Assistance with rehabilitation must always be customised to your needs. If you are unable to return to work with your employer, this may involve counselling to assess your best options. Once you have achieved some level of certification, early evaluation of your transferable abilities, aid in choosing a career, and assistance in setting up a period of training in a suitable alternate profession should take place.
You may be eligible for top-up payments if you return to work in a new position that pays less than what you were making with your employer before your injury.
Employment of Host
Many wounded workers are assigned to a host employer during the rehabilitation phase of their recovery after a workplace accident. If the original employer cannot facilitate your return to work but you do not need vocational retraining, a host employer will typically be needed.
A host work placement is one that lasts only a brief while. The host employer is required to give you meaningful work that is consistent with the duties you performed for your prior employer and within the bounds of your authorised workplace limits.
Your treating physician should authorise a proper tasks programme, and you should be involved in the selection of your host employer. Your former employer still pays you while you’re resuming your employment with a hosting company.
Once the return to work programme is over, a host employer is not required to give you a job.
It should be given thought to closing the rehabilitation file and settling your claim if it becomes clear that your limitations will be permanent and you won’t be able to perform your pre-injury duties or an alternate position in full.
Your Rights and Responsibilities
You are allowed to pick the rehabilitation centre of your choice. While you are officially declared totally unfit, you have the freedom to refuse to work with a rehabilitation provider. If you choose not to work with a rehabilitation provider while you are officially declared totally unfit, the workers’ compensation insurance cannot stop or suspend your weekly benefits.
Once you have been certified as having some capacity for work, you are required to take part in a return to work with your employer or a host employer or to enrol in vocational training. The workers’ compensation insurer has the power to ask Workcover for an order to stop or suspend your weekly benefits if you refuse to take part in a return to work programme or vocational training.
Experts in Western Australian workers’ compensation law include Employment Lawyers Perth. Call our knowledgeable staff for a private consultation if you need guidance on your return to work alternatives.