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Return to Work Procedure

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Section 1 - Purpose

(1) To outline how Macquarie University will help an injured staff member to return to work following an injury or illness acquired as a result of a workplace incident or accident, and the reciprocal responsibilities of the injured staff member. 

Scope

(2) This Procedure (Return to Work Procedure) requires actions by the following:

  1. Group Return to Work Coordinator;
  2. Staff Member; and
  3. Supervisor.
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Section 2 - Policy

(3) Refer to the Return to Work Policy.

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Section 3 - Procedures

Responsibilities and Required Actions

(4) This Procedure comprises the following main steps:

  1. report the injury;
  2. make medical and insurance arrangements;
  3. undertake rehabilitation and return to work;
  4. support an injured employee;
  5. notify insurer; and
  6. coordinate rehabilitation and return to work.

Staff Member

Report the Injury

(5) Report a work injury or illness to your supervisor within twenty-four (24) hours of its occurrence.

(6) Complete an online accident / injury notification via ROAR - Risk Online Active Reporting.

Seek Medical Treatment

(7) Seek medical attention for your injury or illness from a medical practitioner of your choice. Nominate a medical practitioner who is prepared to participate in the development and ongoing arrangements for your Return to Work Plan.

(8) Obtain a NSW WorkCover Medical Certificate from the medical practitioner outlining the required treatment and your capacity for work.

Request Time Off Work

(9) If you need to take time off work due to your injury, complete a Workplace Injury / Illness Leave form. Forward this form, together with a copy of a NSW WorkCover Medical Certificate, to Human Resources. This allows you to access your sick leave until the insurer has accepted liability for the claim.

Undertake Rehabilitation and Return to Work

(10) Participate and cooperate with your supervisor in the development of your Return to Work Plan. 

(11) Authorise the Group Return to Work Coordinator  to contact your medical practitioner to discuss the injury and obtain advice on Transitional (suitable) Duties.

(12) Undertake Transitional (suitable) Duties as agreed.

(13) Report progress on your rehabilitation to your supervisor at regular intervals.

(14) Submit updated NSW WorkCover Medical Certificates and reports to your supervisor or the Group Return to Work Coordinator, as required.

(15) Advise your supervisor and the Group Return to Work Coordinator of any changes in your medical status or capacity for work.

(16) Advise of any difficulties with your return to work.

(17) Receive compensation for claims accepted by Macquarie University’s insurer.

(18) Raise any disputes about the Return to Work Plan or Transitional (suitable) Duties with the Group Return to Work Coordinator.

(19) Actively participate in agreed issue resolution processes.

Supervisor

Support an Injured Staff Member

(20) Participate and cooperate in the establishment, implementation and supervision of an injured staff member’s Return to Work Plan.

(21) Assist in the identification and provision of Transitional (suitable) Duties.

(22) Liaise regularly with an injured staff member and the Group Return to Work Coordinator.

(23) Actively support an injured staff member throughout their rehabilitation and return to work.

Group Return to Work Coordinator

Notify Insurer

(24) Notify the Worker’s Compensation insurer of an injury within forty-eight (48) hours of being notified of the injury.

(25) Liaise with the staff member and insurer on any Worker’s Compensation claims.

Coordinate Rehabilitation and Return to Work

(26) Early assessment of whether or not there is a need for treatment and rehabilitation is important. Treatment and / or time off work as a result of a work-related injury may not be necessary in all cases. 

(27) If rehabilitation is required, do the following:

  1. provide information on the return to work process and Worker’s Compensation benefits to the staff member and their supervisor;
  2. determine the injured employee’s return to work needs and prepare a Return to Work Plan, through discussion with the employee, their supervisor and nominated medical practitioner. Include the identification of Transitional (suitable) Duties as required;
  3. refer an injured employee’s case to the University’s rehabilitation provider, if required (e.g. if the employee is facing barriers in returning to work);
  4. liaise with the rehabilitation provider to ensure that they:
    1. promote and support early and safe return to work of injured employees;
    2. identify and coordinate rehabilitation strategies to ensure an injured employee is able to safely perform their duties;
    3. communicate with relevant parties throughout service provision; and
    4. act as an independent third party to facilitate negotiation and resolution of any issues;
  5. work with the insurer and injured employee to make alternative arrangements for an injured employee who is unable to return to their pre-injury job, including:
    1. different job, same employer;
    2. same job, different employer; or
    3. different job, different employer.
  6. liaise with the insurer to ensure that they:
    1. contact an injured employee within three (3) working days of being notified of an injury;
    2. in the case of injury lasting more than seven (7) continuous days, prepare an Injury Management Plan, in consultation with the injured employee, Group Return to Work Coordinator and the nominated medical practitioner;
    3. within seven (7) days of being informed of an injury, begin paying weekly Worker’s Compensation benefits if required, or advise an injured employee of the reason for not making payments;
    4. continue to pay benefits and reasonable expenses to an injured employee; and
    5. provide advice and support to the Group Return to Work Coordinator on how best to proceed in the resolution of any issues;
  7. assist the injured employee throughout the return to work process; and
  8. work with the injured employee and other relevant parties to clarify any issues and resolve any dispute. Seek advice from the insurer about how best to proceed in situations where a dispute is unable to be resolved.  This may include, but is not limited to, involving an accredited rehabilitation provider or injury management consultant.

(28) During the recovery process, ensure that participation in a Return to Work Plan will not, of itself, disadvantage an injured employee by:

  1. allowing an injured employee to access their sick leave until the insurer has accepted liability for the claim;
  2. allowing an employee to continue with higher duties or scheduled training, in so far as those activities are consistent with medical advice;
  3. ensuring any monies owed to an injured employee by Macquarie University are paid as soon as is practicable; and
  4. addressing any disagreements or issues with the Return to Work Plan as quickly as possible, so as not to hinder an injured employee’s recovery.

Document

(29) Upon receipt of a Worker’s Compensation claim, establish a rehabilitation file for each employee undertaking rehabilitation activities. Include in the file all documents, correspondence and other information relevant to the return to work process. This file is held on the Workplace Health and Safety computer system and access is limited to authorised Workplace Health and Safety Staff.

(30) Keep accurate and objective Worker’s Compensation case notes of all communications, actions and decisions and outline the reasons for these actions and decisions.

(31) Date and sign each file note.

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Section 4 - Guidelines

(32) Nil.

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Section 5 - Definitions

(33) Commonly defined terms are located in the University Glossary. Definitions specific to this Procedure are contained in the accompanying Policy.