State Insurance Regulatory Authority
Recovery at work is just good business

Recovery at work is just good business

This fact sheet outlines why supporting workers to recover at work following a work-related injury is good for business.

Download a PDF of this information.

Did you know?

  • the longer a worker is away from work, the less likely they are to ever return
  • an unnecessary delay in returning to work is often associated with delayed recovery
  • staying active after injury reduces pain symptoms and helps workers return to their usual activities at work and home sooner.

Under NSW workers compensation legislation, employers have an obligation to support their worker to recover at and/or return to work.

The benefits to your business

Helping your worker to recover at work may reduce the financial impact on your business and enables you to:

  • maintain the skills and knowledge of an experienced worker
  • reduce the cost of training a replacement worker
  • demonstrate to all workers that they are valued employees
  • maintain good employer-employee relationships
  • reduce the length of time your workers are away from work
  • avoid the cost of hiring new staff
  • comply with your legislative obligations.

How we can help

The State Insurance Regulatory Authority (SIRA) has a number of vocational rehabilitation programs to help your worker recover at work without putting your business under financial strain. These programs include:

  • return to work assist for micro employers
  • equipment and workplace modification
  • work trials
  • training.

The cost of vocational rehabilitation programs are funded by SIRA. They are not a claims cost and do not affect premiums.

Read on for a quick guide to these vocational programs.

Return to work assist for micro employersThis program reduces the financial burden of helping workers return to work. A workplace rehabilitation provider will help identify suitable work and develop a recover at work plan for your worker. The insurer will continue to pay your worker for up to six weeks while they participate in the program.

This allows you to pay overtime or employ a casual worker with the money saved on your worker’s wages, so you can keep things going while they recover.

Who is eligible?
Micro employers (five or less staff with a premium tariff of $30,000 or less) financially unable to offer suitable work in the first 13 weeks after the injury may may be eligible.

For more information click here 
Equipment and workplace modificationThis program provides funding for workplace equipment or modifications to help your worker stay at work with their pre-injury employer or start work with a new employer.
Modifications may be specific to your worker’s functional needs or the equipment may be necessary if they start a new role (eg a basic toolkit for a maintenance worker).
Who is eligible?
Workers receiving or entitled to receive weekly payments under the Workers Compensation Act 1987 (1987 Act), and have not accepted a commutation or work injury damages settlement.

For more information click here 
Work trialThis program provides work-based opportunities for your worker to upgrade their capacity, develop skills, and/or gain on the job experience with a host employer where you are unable to provide suitable work.
A workplace rehabilitation provider conducts a workplace assessment to match the capacity of the trainee (worker) to the essential requirements of the job, and assess their ability to perform the tasks safely.
Who is eligible?
Workers with capacity for work, who are receiving or entitled to receive weekly payments, and have not accepted a commutation or work injury damages settlement.
Employers holding a current workers compensation policy, with no current employment relationship to the trainee or the pre-injury employer.

For more information click here 
TrainingTraining can help your worker develop new skills and qualifications to change roles within your organisation or to get a new job. It may involve formal study with TAFE, university or a registered training organisation.
Course fees and associated expenses (eg textbooks, stationery, travel and accommodation) may also be covered.
Who is eligible?
Workers receiving/entitled to receive weekly payments under the 1987 Act.
Applications for training should address the program principles (refer to the SIRA website).

For more information click here 

For more information go to, or talk to your workplace rehabilitation provider, return to work coordinator or insurer case manager. You can also call us on 13 10 50.