State Insurance Regulatory Authority
Recovery at work - It's just good business

Recovery at work - It's 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 support programs to help your worker recover at work without putting your business under financial strain. These programs include:

  • Recover at Work Assist for Small Business
  • Equipment and Workplace Modification
  • Work Trials
  • Training.

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

Read on for a quick guide to these programs.

Recover at Work Assist for Small Business

This program helps small employers overcome financial hardship when providing suitable work to help their worker recover at work.

An assistance payment of $400 per week for up to six weeks is available to offset the costs of making alternative arrangements to cover the usual duties of your worker while they participate in a recover at work plan and build capacity to return to their pre-injury duties and hours.

A workplace rehabilitation provider will help identify suitable work and develop a recover at work plan for your worker.

Who is eligible?

You can apply for this program if you:

  • employ up to 19 full-time (or equivalent) workers
  • pay a basic tariff premium of less than $30,000
  • are financially unable to offer suitable work in the first 26 weeks after injury.
Equipment and Workplace Modification

This 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 (for example, 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.

Work Trial

This 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.


Training 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 (for example, 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 (outlined in the guidance material).

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