A valuable part of supporting an injured worker's recovery and managing their claim is direct discussion with the worker. Direct phone contact is very important when discussing return to work, progress of treatment or other decisions affecting the worker’s entitlements. Agent employees responsible for claims management are expected to undertake such conversations.
When a worker indicates a preference to not be contacted directly
Injured workers may prefer alternative contact arrangements, such as only in writing (e.g. email or mail), through a relative, legal representative etc. It is appropriate to tailor routine and/or administrative contact arrangements to suit these preferences.
Discussions which should be had verbally/over the phone
Whilst the worker may have a preferred method of contact, the Agent needs to explain to the worker that at certain times it will be necessary to speak to the worker directly (i.e. not through a representative or family member). Discussions Agents should have directly with the worker are:
- about return to work, where relevant
- about progress of treatment, where relevant
- about decisions affecting the worker’s entitlements
The Agent should arrange an interpreter, where required, for these discussions.
In some instances there may be a medical reason as to why a worker cannot be contacted under any circumstances. This should be raised by the worker or worker’s representative with the relevant Agent.