PUTTING YOU FIRST
RETURNING TO WORK—INFORMATION
FOR INJURED WORKERS
Participating in the workforce keeps us healthy, improves our self-esteem and gives us opportunities to
contribute to the community.
Did you know that being out of work in the long-term is an even greater health risk than the risk of other
diseases such as coronary heart disease1? Even returning to work part-time, or on modified duties, helps
our physical and mental health—and has social and financial benefits.
This fact sheet contains some tips to help you return to work. It also provides information about where to
get help and support. You can have a major influence over your recovery and return to work.
WHAT CAN YOU DO?
Stay positive—focus on what you can do, not what you can’t
Think about how work can assist in your recovery
Talk to your doctor about going back to work and the different work options available—for example,
reduced hours or modified duties
Talk to your employer or supervisor about how they can help—putting a return to work strategy in
place as soon as possible is an important step
Stay active and continue with your normal activities, but talk to your doctor about activities you may
need to avoid
Keep talking to those who are helping you with your recovery and return to work—keep them
informed about how you are going and feeling
Keep in touch with your work mates
Don’t forget to ask for help or information when you need it
WHERE CAN YOU GET HELP OR INFORMATION?
Your treating doctor can:
provide a diagnosis
recommend and refer for appropriate treatment
provide advice on when you can return to work.
Aylward M. No one written off: Reforming welfare to reward responsibility. Consultation Event DWP Welfare Reform Green Paper
Your Rehabilitation Case Manager (RCM) will:
work with you to plan your return to work
talk to you about the different things you can do at work and what support you might need to do
talk to your supervisor, your doctor and other healthcare providers to make sure you have the help
you need to return to work
engage a Workplace Rehabilitation Provider (WRP) to work with you and your doctor to develop a
return to work plan, if required.
Your supervisor can:
listen to your concerns and help you address these
keep in touch with you and tell you what is happening in your work area
support you in your return to work.
Your Comcare Claims Services Officer will:
process your entitlements for treatment and incapacity payments
talk to you and your RCM to ensure you are supported in your return to work.
Your Workplace Rehabilitation Provider (WRP) can:
work with you, your doctor, treatment providers, supervisor and RCM to identify what help you need
to return to work and help organise this support
provide expert, objective advice to you, your supervisor and your doctor on return to work.
SOME IMPORTANT FACTS
Benefits of early return to work Possible consequences of delayed return to work
> Faster recovery > Slower recovery
> Better health outcomes > Poorer physical health
> Maintain job skills, work status and > Loss of self-confidence
identity > Strain on family and friends
> Less disruption to family and social life > Social isolation
> Improved employment and financial > Poorer mental health
> Possible financial strain
Visit the Injury Management section of the Comcare website (www.comcare.gov.au) to find the latest
information. For more information on the return to work process see:
> Return to work fact sheet
> Return to work—Easy reference guide.