Return to Work Coordinators
Return to Work Coordinators play a pivotal role in supporting workers and employers following a work injury. As the designated contact for the workplace, Return to Work Coordinators:
- assist workers to remain at or return to work as soon as possible following injury
- assist in the preparation of a recovery and return to work plan
- appropriately liaise and engage with a worker’s medical team
- monitor a worker’s recovery progress and capacity for work
- ensure any return to work offered and undertaken is safe and medically suitable.
A Return to Work Coordinator undertaking these functions effectively ensures that workers feel supported following an injury and receive the assistance they need to recover and return to work.
Benefits of having a Return to Work Coordinator
There are many benefits to having a Return to Work Coordinator. As a workplace contact they:
- have an understanding of the return to work process and what to do following a workplace injury
- are a dedicated resource for supporting workers, managers and leaders
- can assist with early intervention and minimise time off due to injury
- contribute to positive workplace culture by educating staff and reducing stigma
- are a dedicated resource for communication with the claims agent and treatment providers, leading to improved partnership and outcomes.
To learn more about the benefits of appointing a Return to Work Coordinator, contact our Employer Education Advisors.
When does an employer need to appoint a Return to Work Coordinator?
If you employ 30 or more staff (in South Australia) for a continuous period of three months, you are legally required to appoint a Return to Work Coordinator (PDF, 202 KB). The Return to Work Coordinator must be based in South Australia and must have undertaken Return to Work Coordinator certification training with an approved training provider within six months of reaching the 30 employee threshold, or within three months of a vacancy occurring.
An employer can choose to appoint an internal staff member, or outsource the role to an external third party Return to Work Coordinator.
- If appointing internally, employers have an obligation to support their Return to Work Coordinator by providing adequate time and resources to the appointed person to fulfill the role.
- If appointing an external third party Return to Work Coordinator, all costs associated with retaining a third party Coordinator are the responsibility of the employer and are not covered by the Return to Work scheme. If you choose to appoint a third party Coordinator, you must ensure they have undertaken the required training before appointing them in the role.
A Return to Work Coordinator must be appointed within six months of reaching the 30 employee threshold or within three months of a vacancy occurring. To learn more about your obligations as an employer see our Return to Work Coordinator Training and Operational Guidelines.
Notify us of your chosen Return to Work Coordinator by completing this Return to Work Coordinator appointment form.
Return to Work Coordinator Training
To find out more about Return to Work Coordinator certification training, visit certification training.
What support is available for Return to Work Coordinators?
ReturnToWorkSA provides all Return to Work Coordinators with access to a range of free support services to help them successfully perform in the Coordinator role.
Supports and services include:
- access to our Employer Education Advisors who can provide general and tailored support and advice regarding the Return to Work Coordinator function and all aspects of recovery and return to work
- education to managers and leaders about how they can support return to work and their Coordinator
- Skill Building Program which provides workshops about injury management, return to work, mentally healthy workplaces, and workplace wellbeing
- access to tools and resources which can assist Coordinators to prepare the workplace and effectively manage work injuries
- e-mail newsletters providing topical information and connecting you to useful resources.
For specific claim queries, Coordinators should make contact with the claims manager.
For further support, please call our Employee Education Advisor team on (08) 8238 5958 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.