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All employers need a return to work program

notice | 30/11/2018

The State Insurance Regulatory Authority (SIRA) is reminding NSW employers to have an up-to-date return to work program to respond to work-related injury or illness by 31 May 2019.

Employers have until then to put a program in place or update it in line with SIRA’s latest Guidelines for workplace return to work programs.

Most small businesses can use SIRA’s return to work program template to document their strategies to help injured employees return to work.

Employers with a base tariff premium of more than $50,000 (category 1 employers) must have a return to work coordinator who will develop and implement a return to work program in consultation with workers and unions.

Employers may find the following resources useful in the development of a return to work program:

SafeWork NSW is running workshops to help employers put return to work programs in place.

Meanwhile, SIRA is developing an online training course to replace a compulsory two-day course for return to work coordinators in 2019.

SIRA has also produced videos about award-winning return to work programs and inspiring worker stories to encourage supported recovery at work.

Supported return to work can help a business by:

  • maintaining an experienced worker's skills and knowledge
  • reducing the cost of training a replacement worker
  • maintaining good employer-employee relationships
  • demonstrating that all workers are valued employees
  • reducing the length of time employees are away from work
  • avoiding the cost of hiring new staff.

For more information about return to work programs, visit the SIRA website or call us on 13 10 50 (Monday to Friday, 8.30 am to 5 pm).