​Employers must give a proposal in writing for a return to work plan to the worker within 7 days after the employer becomes aware that the worker’s total or partial incapacity is likely to exceed 28 days.

For complex claims, the insurer may appoint a vocational rehabilitation provider who will assist in developing the plan, otherwise, the insurer may be able to provide the employer with a template to assist in the development of the plan.

If a vocational rehabilitation provider is not appointed, then the employer must develop the return to work plan.

What is a return to work plan?

The return to work plan assists injured workers in returning to work after injury. Although workers may have medical restrictions and may be unable to perform their pre-injury jobs, they can often do modified or alternate work while recovering.

The plan formalises suitable employment offered by the employer in line with the injured workers statement of fitness for work.

It is designed to make clear what the worker can and cannot do when they return to work, and when this will be reviewed.

The employer should not speculate, make assumptions and / or presume a doctor’s role. Regard should be had to the injured worker's statement of fitness for work. Any medical restrictions should be taken into account.

It is extremely important that the employer works in collaboration with the injured worker when developing the plan. For a successful return to work the injured worker should be consulted and their input included in the plan.

Physical restrictions, suitable duties, hours worked, supervision arrangements must be clearly outlined in the plan and must be regularly monitored and reviewed. Teatment times and dates may need to be considered in the plan.

The plan must be developed and agreed to by the worker and the employer and both must sign the plan.

Return to work flowchart, see link below for detailed description 

Detailed description of flowchart 

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