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If a worker is injured at work

If a worker is able to return to work following a work-related injury, and requests suitable work, the employer must provide suitable work for the worker.

Suitable work needs to be provided when a worker is unable to immediately return to their normal duties after a work related injury or illness.

The legislation refers to this as 'suitable employment'.  However in general terms this can be referred to as:

  • suitable duties
  • alternate duties
  • modified duties
  • light duties.

The Workplace Injury Management and Workers Compensation Act 1998 requires employers to provide an opportunity to a worker to recover at work and/or return to work by providing work for which the worker is currently suited.

Your commitment to provide suitable work is a fundamental part of any successful recovery at work strategy and should take into account:

  • the nature of the worker's capacity
  • the worker's age, education, skills and work experience
  • any injury management plan
  • any workplace rehabilitation services available to the worker.

Failing to provide suitable work to a worker may have an impact on the cost of your workers compensation premium and be a breach of your legislative obligations. It may result in you receiving an improvement notice and/or a financial penalty.