Assess & propose suitable employment

An employer obtains information to assess suitable employment options consistent with the worker’s capacity for work. The information that employers should obtain includes:

  • the nature of the worker’s injury or illness
  • the details of the worker’s incapacity for work and what they are able to do
  • when the worker is likely to return to work
  • how long it will be before the worker can return to their pre-injury duties
  • other factors that may have an impact on the worker’s capacity (eg capacity to travel, medication effects)
  • the type and frequency of assistance required to support recovery (such as scheduled dressing changes, physiotherapy).
Implement RTW arrangements

When the appropriate RTW Return to Work arrangements including suitable employment have been determined, the employer must provide clear, accurate and current details to the worker. While not mandatory, often the easiest way to do this is in writing.

For additional information on RTW arrangements refer to WorkSafe’s Compliance Code 1 of 4: Providing employment, planning and consulting about return to work. This compliance code includes a RTW Information template. An employer who uses and customises (sections in blue) the RTW Information template in its entirety will be taken to have complied with their obligation to make RTW information available.

Agent role

Agents advise employers of the importance of clarity in communicating RTW planning, including proposed suitable employment, 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 and RTW Arrangements.

Agents encourage documentation of planning to support effective communication and ensure employers are aware of the tools and templates available for employers’ use. This includes:

  • What to do if a worker is injured – A guide for employers
  • Step by step guide to assessing suitable employment
  • RTW Arrangements template.

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Employer proposes suitable or pre-injury employment

The Agent ensures that suitable or pre-injury employment proposed is consistent with:

  • legislative obligations
  • available medical evidence
  • the type of work or duties available with the employer.

If the Agent identifies deficiencies in what is proposed they:

  • discuss them with the employer
  • request the employer to revise the proposal.

To determine the appropriateness of the initial and/or revised suitable employment, the Agent may liaise with the:

Employer unable to provide suitable or pre-injury employment

If the employer is not able to provide suitable or pre-injury employment the Agent must consider the reasons provided.

If the Agent believes the reasons are:

  • satisfactory - the Agent should pursue other suitable or pre-injury employment options, including with another employer
  • unsatisfactory - the Agent must record the:
  • name of the worker and employer
  • claim number
  • date of the incapacity
  • copy of letters, including reminders, sent to the employer advising them of their obligation to provide employment
  • details of verbal requests, conversations or written confirmation
  • date and copy of response/s, if any
  • date of expiration of 12 month period
  • details of the contact officer in case further details are required.

Note: The Agent must also assess whether suitable or pre-injury employment is available. If suitable or pre-injury employment is available and the employer still refuses to provide employment to the worker, the Agent must refer the matter to WorkSafe. Agents should refer to Employer RTW Compliance for the process of referring matters to WorkSafe.

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