Many injured workers believe their employer hinders their recovery

Friday, 06 February, 2009

A national return to work report prepared for The Heads of Workers’ Compensation Authorities last year shows that one in four injured workers throughout Australia and New Zealand believes that management do not do enough to get them back to work. Nor do they have clear policies and procedures about returning injured workers to work.

One in four also identify at least one person making it harder for them to return to work with the majority stating it was their supervisor or employer that hindered their progress. Statistics shows that these workers were less likely to have a durable return to work compared to those who found those involved in the return to work process to be helpful.

‘Return to Work Matters’, an online resource and network for employers and return to work professionals, regularly publishes research translations that confirm the findings of how both employer responses and employee's beliefs about their employer's attitude impacts on recovery.

“With all this evidence, employers should not only be educating themselves on best practice,” says Return to Work Matters’ General Manager Cheryl Griffiths. “But [they] should be passing this knowledge on to their employees so everyone knows exactly where they stand. Employees look to their employers for advice on training, superannuation, wages and OHS. Yet when it comes to return to work after injury or illness, workers are often left to their own devices.

“The Return to Work Matters website — www.rtwmatters.org — was developed to provide this much-needed knowledge to employers. The site includes access to advice, handbooks and guides, case studies and tools, as well as links to resources that influence compensation, absenteeism and workplace culture. It is a vital knowledge tool for return to work professionals”.

Return to Work Matters is currently re-launching its site with many new resources, most notably a comprehensive database with descriptive links to over 200 return to work resources and websites worldwide.

Return to Work Matters is guided by people who have, for decades, taken leadership roles in occupational medicine, return to work facilitation, policy development and professional network support.

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