Agents inform workers when an estimated 30 weeks of the employment obligation period has elapsed. This ensures they are aware of the duration of the obligation in advance of the obligation ending.
There are employment and anti-discrimination laws (and in some workplaces enterprise bargaining agreements) that an employer must consider in relation to a worker’s ongoing employment arrangements. Employers should seek advice from their industry association or Fair Work Online before making any decisions about a worker’s employment status.
Claim has reached an estimated 30 weeks of the employment obligation period
If the Agent confirms the estimate that 30-36 weeks of the obligation has elapsed and no exclusions apply, the Agent must inform the worker in writing and by phone of the number of weeks of the employment obligation period which in the opinion of WorkSafe has expired.
Prepare to inform the worker
A worker may have concerns about what this information means. It is important to clarify that this information is provided to all workers at a similar point in the claim and that it seeks to ensure workers are aware of the duration of the obligation so they can consider their own circumstances.
When preparing to inform a worker consider:
- the purpose and content of the information
- the individual circumstances of the claim
- supporting and maintaining the injury employer/worker relationship
- the potential impact on the workplace relationship and the method of communicating this
- whether the worker has returned to work with the injury employer
- whether it would be beneficial to conduct an interview with the worker
- the likelihood of the worker understanding the information to be provided.
Where an Agent arranges a meeting or discusses the matter with the worker over the telephone, this must be completed before 36 weeks of incapacity elapses.
Inform the worker
Before sending the 'Obligation to Provide Employment: Update Letter to Worker', the Agent calls the worker to explain the information being sent. This includes the employer’s obligation to provide employment, the duration of this period and the estimated period that has elapsed.
The Agent then sends the Obligation to Provide Employment: Update Letter to Worker.
If the Agent is unable to contact the worker, the 30 week letter must be sent before 36 weeks of the employment obligation period elapsing regardless of whether the Agent has been successful in contacting the worker by phone.