1. Purpose of policy
1.1 This Policy and the associated Workplace Rehabilitation Procedure outlines the intent and process for workplace rehabilitation at the University, allowing the University to meet or exceed its legislative obligations with respect to workers compensation claims and workplace rehabilitation.
2. Policy scope and application
2.1 This policy applies to all staff of the University, who experience a work-related injury or illness and require rehabilitation to stay at or return to work. In cases of a non-work-related injury or illness, workplace rehabilitation may be provided to staff at the University’s discretion.
Please refer to the University’s Glossary of Terms for policies and procedures.
4. Policy Statement
4.1 The University is committed to providing, as far as is reasonably practicable, a healthy and safe work environment. Through appropriate risk management the University aims to prevent workplace injuries and/or illnesses. However, should a University staff member incur an injury or illness whilst undertaking work at or for the University, the University recognises the substantial benefits to both staff and the University of early intervention and supporting staff to stay at work or return to work as soon as is practicable following a workplace injury/illness.
4.2 The University is committed to working with our injured/ill staff, their managers and wider team as necessary to ensure that staff are supported to stay at work post injury or illness, where possible. If the staff member is unable to remain at work, or unable to continue in their pre-injury duties, the University will assist with the provision of suitable duties and/or alternate employment, where appropriate, under medical guidance.
5.1 Injury management and rehabilitation is the process of restoring a persons’ capacity to the highest possible level of function following a work-related injury or illness. The goal of injury management and rehabilitation is to return the employee to suitable duties in the workplace as soon as it is appropriate, and ultimately a return to pre-injury duties.
5.2 Key principles for successful Injury Management and Return to Work include:
(a) Early reporting of injuries by employee or manager;
(b) Commencement of the rehabilitation as soon as possible after injury (consistent with medical advice);
(c) Confidentiality of the employee’s medical and rehabilitation information is maintained;
(d) Provision of timely medical treatment to the injured staff member;
(e) Aim to restore the injured staff member to the fullest physical, psychological, social, vocational and economic usefulness of which they are capable;
(f) Aim to resume pre-injury duties, with reasonably necessary adjustments, as soon possible in accordance with medical advice. If staff member cannot perform pre-injury duties, attempt to provide alternate duties (meaningful and appropriate to staff skill set and operational requirements); and
(g) Injury management is a shared responsibility, requiring cooperation and collaboration between the key stakeholders in order to achieve successful outcomes for both injured/ill staff member and the University.
6.1 The following authorities/responsibilities are delegated under this policy:
(a) Executive: provides leadership to ensure communication of this policy and effective implementation and encourage a culture of returning injured staff to work as soon as possible into suitable duties consistent with medical advice.
(b) Senior Managers: supports managers and supervisors in fulfilling their responsibilities and accountabilities. If injured worker cannot perform regular duties due to injury, support staff member through offering alternate duties (within division or school) that are meaningful and appropriate to staff skill set and operational requirements.
(c) Supervisor: Support injured staff member when it comes to fulfilling return to work plan and allocating suitable duties.
(d) Injury Management Coordinator: Designated USC Personnel that coordinates and manages the injured worker and liaises with injured worker, insurer and other key stakeholders.
(e) Employees: comply with this policy and the associated procedures as well as report injuries as soon as practicable and actively participate in workplace rehabilitation.