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Return to Work Policy

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Section 1 - Purpose

(1) To document Macquarie University’s policy on rehabilitation and return to work for staff members who have acquired an injury or illness as a result of a workplace incident or accident. 

Background

(2) Effective and efficient injury management is an integral part of Macquarie University’s health and safety system. The primary goal of a return to work program is returning an injured staff member to their pre-injury job, as the workplace is the most appropriate and effective place to rehabilitate most injured workers.

(3) This Policy outlines the commitments of the University to the principles and practices of effective and efficient return to work for injured staff members. 

(4) This Policy and the Return to Work Procedure satisfy the legislative requirements for Macquarie University’s Return to Work Program. 

Scope

(5) This Policy applies to all staff employed by Macquarie University and its controlled entities.

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Section 2 - Policy

(6) Macquarie University is committed to supporting the rehabilitation and return to work of a staff member injured at the workplace by:

  1. informing an injured staff member of their rights and responsibilities;
  2. commencing injury management activities as soon as possible after an injury, in a manner consistent with an injured staff member’s medical fitness for work;
  3. working collaboratively with key parties to provide support throughout the return to work process and to help minimise the effects of the injury or illness;
  4. ensuring that participation in a Return to Work Plan will not disadvantage an injured staff member;
  5. aligning a staff member’s Return to Work Plan with the insurer’s Injury Management Plan;
  6. providing Transitional (suitable) Duties for an injured staff member; and
  7. implementing strict standards of confidentiality in the management of information related to rehabilitation and return to work. 

Compliance and Breaches

(7) The University may commence applicable disciplinary procedures if a person to whom this Policy applies breaches this Policy (or any of its related procedures).

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Section 3 - Procedures

(8) Refer to the Return to Work Procedure.

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Section 4 - Guidelines

(9) Nil.

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Section 5 - Definitions

(10) Commonly defined terms are located in the University Glossary. The following definitions apply for the purposes of this Policy:

  1. Injury Management Plan means a plan prepared by the insurer that outlines all the services and treatments for an injured staff member.
  2. Return to Work Plan means a plan agreed by the injured staff member, their treating doctor and the Injury and Claims Management Coordinator. The plan details how many hours and duties the injured staff member can perform, as well as any medical restrictions and review dates.
  3. Return to Work Program means the policy and procedure which describe the approach to returning an injured staff member to work following an injury or illness.
  4. Transitional (suitable) Duties means duties that are consistent with medical advice and that are meaningful, productive and appropriate for the injured staff member’s physical and psychological condition. They are agreed between the Injury and Claims Management Coordinator and the injured staff member and aim to assist in rehabilitation and return to work. Suitable duties could include:
    1. parts of the job the injured staff member was doing before the injury or illness;
    2. the injured staff member’s pre-injury job on reduced hours;
    3. training opportunities; or
    4. different duties altogether. 
  5. Worker’s Compensation means insurance designed to cover the cost of a staff member’s medical treatment and rehabilitation costs, and to assist them to recover and return to work as soon as practicable after a work-related injury. Depending on the type, nature and severity of the injury, a staff member may be eligible to receive one or more of the following benefits:
    1. weekly benefits;
    2. permanent impairment benefits;
    3. medical, hospital and rehabilitation expenses; or
    4. compensation for property damage.