If it has been determined that a worker has not made reasonable efforts to comply with the warning notice, an Agent may suspend their weekly payments.
Agents need to ensure that they have appropriate evidence supporting the worker’s continued non-compliance to proceed with stopping a worker’s weekly payments.
Contents of a suspension notice
A suspension notice must give a worker 28 days to comply with their RTW Return to Work obligations.
The notice must contain:
- advice that their weekly payments are being suspended for 28 days.
- a description of what action/inaction has been considered non-compliant
- actions/inaction occurring since the warning notice was issued
- instructions on what action needs to be taken to comply with their RTW obligations
- the consequences of failing to comply with the instructions in the suspension notice (this includes the date that weekly payments will be terminated if failure to comply)
- appeal rights.
The suspension notice can take effect on the date set out in the warning notice - the conclusion of the warning period.
The Agent must ensure adequate notice is provided for the worker to undertake the action required for them to demonstrate compliance.
The date on which weekly payments are ‘suspended from’ has an impact on how the 28 day suspension period is calculated. Agents should therefore calculate ‘day one’ of the suspension period from the day specified in the warning notice.
Example 1 (notice emailed):
|‘Suspend from’ date specified in the warning notice:||05 October 2021|
|Date from which weekly payments will not be paid:||05 October 2021|
|28 day expiry date:||16 November 2021|
Example 2 (notice sent by mail):
|‘Suspend from’ date specified in the warning notice:||22 October 2021|
|Date from which weekly payments will not be paid:||22 October 2021|
|28 day expiry date:||18 November 2021|
Compliance within the suspension period
If a worker complies with their obligations within 28 days, the Agent reinstates their weekly payments from the date they demonstrated compliance and records details of their compliance.
A period of suspension is included in the time counted for entitlement periods such as the 104/130 week count. Payments that would have otherwise been payable during a suspension remain forfeited and are not subsequently paid back to the worker.
At the end of the suspension period
The suspension can be for 28 days only. After 28 days, weekly payments are then reinstated, terminated or ceased and determined (depending on the worker’s history of non-compliance).
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 suspension has been issued.