Warning notices must provide workers with at least 14 days but no longer than 60 days’ notice to demonstrate compliance with their RTW obligations. The length of the notice period depends on the actions the worker is required to take in order to be compliant with their RTW obligations. If the notice is sent by mail, allow an additional two postal days’ notice.
Contents of a notice
A notice must contain:
- details of which obligation the worker needs to comply with, including a description of what action/inaction has been considered non-compliant
- instructions on how they can comply with their RTW obligation/s (see below)
- state the time frame the worker is given to comply, ie 14 days to 60 days
- the consequences of failing to comply with the instructions in the notice, ie suspension of weekly payments for up to 28 days and the date on which that suspension will take effect should they not comply within the warning period
- appeal rights.
See: Contents of notice
A notice sets out the actions the worker needs to take to demonstrate compliance. This can include:
- an appointment to plan return to work
- an appointment with an occupational rehabilitation provider
- an assessment of capacity, rehabilitation progress or future employment prospects
- return to work at the worker’s place of employment in suitable employment or pre-injury employment (1) In this Part — pre-injury employment means the employment of a worker in a position which is the same as or equivalent to the position in which the worker was employed before receiving the injury
- return to work at another place of employment
- an interview with a representative of WorkSafe
- communicating with the Agent, employer and/or occupational rehabilitation provider in relation to planning for return to work.
The Agent needs to ensure this action is planned within the warning period (ie within 14 days to 60 days) to give the worker every opportunity to comply.
Compliance within the notice period
If a worker complies with their obligations within the notice period, record details of their compliance and continue to monitor their progress.
A further warning notice may be appropriate if the worker has not fully complied with their obligations rather than proceeding to a suspension.
The goal of the RTW non-compliance process is to assist the worker to understand their obligations and to become compliant, therefore Agents must continue to assist the worker to overcome barriers after the warning has been issued.