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Launch of National Return to Work Strategy 2020-2030

On Monday 30 September 2019, Safe Work Australia launched the National Return to Work Strategy 2020-2030 which defines a 10-year action plan to improve return to work outcomes for workers across Australia.

The strategy has five action areas which represent the opportunities for change at a national level to improve return to work outcomes. ReturnToWorkSA is committed to each action area of the strategy and has already implemented a number of initiatives and activities which support the five action areas and help to deliver positive return to work outcomes.

Action area 1: Supporting workers

Aims to help workers be actively involved in their recovery and return to work.

We support workers by:

  • providing phone based claims lodgement which facilitates more timely claim determination and deployment of necessary recovery and return to work services;
  • providing a mobile claims manager, where appropriate, who provides face to face support, the identification of return to work barriers and solutions to those barriers, and assessment of services for recovery and return to work;
  • the claims manager and worker using the recovery and return to work plan to have meaningful conversations to set a realistic return to work goal and discuss the services and support required to achieve this;
  • continuing to explore technology that allows the worker to easily interact and manage their work injury claim.

Action area 2: Building positive workplace culture and leadership

Aims to support workplaces to reduce stigma and promote positive relationships and behaviours.

We support building positive workplace culture and leadership by:

  • providing education, information and support to employers and their return to work coordinators to understand how they can help facilitate effective recovery and return to work and improve systems in their workplace;
  • providing support for employers to develop and maintain a mentally healthy workplace culture.

Action area 3: Supporting employers

Aims to help employers effectively support workers in their recovery and return to work.

We support employers by:

  • providing phone based claims lodgement which facilitates more timely claim determination and deployment of necessary recovery and return to work services;
  • providing a mobile claims manager, where appropriate, who provides face to face support, the identification of return to work barriers and solutions to those barriers, and assessment of services for recovery and return to work;
  • providing training and information sessions on effective recovery and return to work systems for both metropolitan and regional audiences;
  • ensuring that together with their workers, they have the support to navigate the return to work process, help identify suitable duties and facilitate medical capacity certification for work when appropriate.

Action area 4: Supporting other stakeholders

Aims to help other stakeholders to support workers in their recovery and return to work.

We support other stakeholders by:

  • providing extensive education and support about the health benefits of work for service providers who participate in the Scheme, including medical practitioners and allied health professionals;
  • continuing to support an electronic certificate of capacity which facilitates identification of capacity for work;
  • being a key contributor in the development of the guidelines for the management of psychological workplace injury and actively promoting and supporting implementation in South Australia.

Action area 5: Building and translating evidence

Aims to make better use of data and research to drive continual improvement across the system.

We support building and translating evidence by:

  • continuing to support credible research across jurisdictions and participating in various national working parties to share information and data.

ReturnToWorkSA is committed to continuing to develop further strategies and activities that support these action areas over the course of the strategy.