Frequently Asked Questions

Workers

What are my obligations in the return to work process?

Injured workers should fully participate and cooperate with their employer, medical practitioner and rehabilitation provider in the development of a return to work program.

Click here for more information on Pace National’s return to work services.

What is an Approved Workplace Rehabilitation Provider?

Approved Workplace Rehabilitation Providers, such as Pace National, have the qualifications, experience and expertise to maintain injured workers at work, or return them to work following an injury. The costs of their services are covered within your workers’ compensation claim.

Employers

What is an injury management system?

Injury management is “the management of workers’ injuries in a manner that is directed at enabling injured workers to return to work” (Section 5 of the legislation). It is the responsibility of employers and injured workers to cooperate in this process, where it is medically supported. An injury management system describes the steps you need to take when a workplace injury occurs.

Under workers’ compensation law, you must establish an injury management system in your workplace. WorkCover WA has issued a Code of Practice (Injury Management) 2005(the Code). The Code explains your legal responsibilities. To support the Code WorkCover WA has also issued the Injury Management: A Guide for Employers publication which provides information to assist employers to understand their legal obligations, provides guidance on developing an injury management system and contains a three step approach to effective injury management.

For more information on how Pace National can assist your organisation in establishing an injury management system click here.

Can I get help setting up my injury management systems?

Your insurer is required to make you aware of your obligations under section 155B and 155C (1) and (3) of the legislation. These sections relate to establishing and implementing injury management systems and return to work programs in accordance with the Code. Your insurer has an important role in assisting you with early intervention when a work injury occurs and with the establishment of appropriate return to work programs.

Under section 155D(3) of the legislation, the obligation for you to establish and implement return to work programs may be discharged by your insurer, provided you send your insurer a request to do so. If your insurer establishes and implements return to work programs on your behalf, they must comply with the Code where you would be obliged to do so.

Insurers determine liability for workers’ compensation claims lodged by injured workers and must process claims in accordance with the legislation. They are encouraged to communicate with their insured employers to provide information regarding claims management and to confirm that appropriate return to work activities have commenced when a worker has been injured at work.

Make arrangements to regularly meet your insurer with the injured worker, or set up another means of regular communication. This can help identify and resolve problems that could interfere with an early return to work.

When discharging obligations on your behalf, your insurer should involve you in decisions that are made.

For more information on how Pace National can assist your organisation in establishing an injury management system click here.

As an employer, am I required to keep the injured worker’s job open?

Under the Act, you must keep an injured worker’s position available during the worker’s incapacity, where reasonably practicable, for 12 months from the day the worker is entitled to receive weekly payments. If the injured worker attains partial or total capacity to work during this time, you must provide their original position, where reasonably practicable, or another of equal status and pay for which they are qualified and capable of performing. During the 12 month period, if you intend to dismiss the injured worker, 28 days notice of that intention must be given to the worker and to WorkCover WA. This is to be done on a prescribed form available from WorkCover WA or from your insurer.

For more information on how Pace National can assist your organisation with Human Resources issues click here.

What is expected of injured workers in injury management?

Injured workers are expected to participate in injury management in accordance with the Code, which includes: collaborating in establishing a return to work program; and participating in a cooperative manner in a return to work program, including attending appointments as required. An injured worker should discuss with their treating medical practitioner and the employer what duties they feel they can realistically do, given their injury.

It is reasonable to expect an injured worker to allow their employer to speak with their treating medical practitioner, either in person or by telephone, to discuss return to work options. An employer can ask an injured worker for written consent to achieve this. This may be incorporated into an injury management system, and is also provided for on the First Medical Certificate and the claim form.

Click here for more information on Pace National’s return to work services.