5.4 Employment obligation period worker advice

5.4.1 Inform the worker when claim is accepted | 5.4.2 Track time elapsed of the employment obligation period | 5.4.3 Inform worker when an estimated 30 weeks of the obligation has elapsed | 5.4.4 Respond to requests for further information

Agents have a legal obligation to inform workers with an incapacity for work about the employer’s obligation to provide suitable 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 for a period of 52 weeks of the worker’s incapacity.

Note: The provision of this information to the worker does not in any way change the employer's obligation.

This legal requirement does not limit an Agent’s ability to provide information about the employment obligation period at any other point in the claim, either to the worker or to the employer.

Employer obligation to provide employment

Employers have an obligation under the legislation to provide a worker with suitable or pre-injury employment for a total period of 52 weeks, to the extent that it is reasonable to do so. The obligation period starts when the employer receives a worker’s Certificate of Capacity Ongoing certificate is issued for up to 28 days and can be issued by a: medical practitioner, osteopath, physiotherapist, chiropractor. or claim for weekly payments or the employer is advised by the Agent of receipt of either of these documents.

The employment obligation period is not necessarily 52 consecutive calendar weeks.

See: Provide employment

When to inform the worker about the duration of the employer obligation to provide employment

Agents must inform a worker with an incapacity for work about the employer’s obligation to provide suitable or pre-injury employment at two points:

  • when a claim for weekly payments is accepted
  • when it is estimated that 30 weeks of the employment obligation has elapsed (unless exempted from doing so by Ministerial direction) but no later than when an estimated 36 weeks of the employment obligation has elapsed.

Following receipt of the information at 30-36 weeks, a worker may request more information about return to work and/or the calculation of the estimated period elapsed.

See: Ministerial Direction - RTW Direction Issue Resolution Process

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