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.