People are returning to work sooner

(27 April 2023)

A record number of people injured at work are returning to work and life sooner after their injury as a result of improved and earlier support by ReturnToWorkSA and our claims agents.

91.9%* of injured workers have remained at or returned to work within 13 weeks of injury, up from 90% last financial year and 86% in 2018-19.

This builds on our best return to work performance in 2022 and has proven that early support results in better outcomes for workers and employers.

Benefits of returning to work sooner

Research shows that being at work positively impacts quality of life. Physical activity, community and social contact, daily structure and financial security are all key benefits for workers who are able to return to work sooner. Returning to work is returning to life for many people.

Being away from work can slow down injury recovery. The longer someone is away from work, the less likely they are to ever return at all.

Recent return to work rates

ReturnToWorkSA receives and accepts around 12,000 claims per year. Of those claims, almost 11,000 people remain at or return to work within 13 weeks. Only 480 people continue to receive support after 103 weeks.

With 12,000 claims per year, a 1% improvement in return to work rates can mean 120 more people returning to work and life sooner.

Following record return to work outcomes in 2022, this year we are experiencing similar results - placing South Australia among the highest return to work rates in the country.

Earlier support for workers and employers

Earlier and more meaningful support provided to workers and their employers after an injury at work has contributed to these record return to work rates.

Over the past three years we have increased the number of mobile claims managers at our claims agents by 30%. This has led to a reduced case load for our mobile claims managers, allowing them to visit and start providing support to workers and employers after a work injury up to eight days sooner.

As well as this, and despite a COVID impacted environment last financial year, our mobile claims managers were able to provide more than 18,000 face-to-face visits and 9,000 video calls.

* Data as at 22 Feb 2023.