Recovering at work

COVID-19 update: SIRA has introduced a number of changes to help medical, allied health practitioners and injured people during the COVID-19 pandemic. These include:

  • Telehealth services so that treatment consultations can occur via video or over the telephone
  • Find out more information about the changes to certification for workers compensation.
  • Updated our Fees Orders and Workers compensation guidelines to remove the requirement for insurer pre-approval for many  treatment services delivered by telehealth.
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See your doctor

The health information below is for general educational purposes only. Always consult your doctor or other health professional to make sure this information is right for you.

Why recover at work?

The NSW Workers Compensation System focus on supporting workers to recover at work after an injury.

People who keep working, even if they can’t do everything at first, get better and return to usual activities quicker than people who take a long time off work.

Did you know?

  • the longer you’re away from work, the harder it can be to get back to work
  • work helps you stay active and is an important part of your recovery
  • staying active helps to reduce pain
  • being at work is an opportunity to connect with people and be part of a community
  • working provides financial security
  • taking a long time off work is worse for you socially, emotionally and physically
  • research shows that work promotes recovery and reduces the risk of long term disability and work loss

How to recover at work

Have a strategy:

  • focus on what you can do and talk to your doctor and your employer about what you can do safely
  • help identify alternate duties if you can’t perform your normal duties
  • stay in touch with your employer and the people you work with – there may be training opportunities you can take while you’re recovering
  • look into programs we offer available to support your recovery at work
  • ask your support team if you have questions, for example your doctor or supervisor at work
  • monitor your pain levels - remember some increase in pain during activity does not mean that you are making things worse
  • if you are a worker with hearing loss, read about workplace adjustments to help you work successfully, efficiently and safely

Your role

Your role is to take reasonable steps to recover following your workplace or motor accident injury.

The insurer may develop a plan for your injury management and recovery and you must participate in its development and then follow the actions set out in the plan.

You must also make sure that your certificate of capacity is current and your insurer has a copy.

The certificate of capacity is issued by your GP and is valid for up to 28 days. Keep it up to date as your insurer may not be able to make payments without a current certificate.

Watch this short video to find out more about the certificate of capacity.

You should also talk to your employer about what you can do at work and start planning for your recovery at work as early as possible.

If you have a work-related injury your employer must help you to recover at work by offering you suitable work (where possible). Your employer is not allowed to dismiss you within six months of being deemed unfit for work.

Further information