Suitable Duties Programs should be provided to any worker returning to work following an injury. This can be provided by the company or, in the case of work related injury, in consultation with the case management team.
A suitable duties plan is a graduated work program that helps injured workers improve their work fitness.
When necessary, an allied health provider will visit the worksite with the worker to develop the program so that it matches the person's abilities with appropriate job tasks and working hours. These tasks and hours are often increased during the program as the worker recovers.
Early return to work is linked to better outcomes for both the Worker and the Employer
1. Retaining full earning capacity
2. Maintaining a productive mindset
3. Staying on a regular work schedule
4. Avoiding dependence on a disability system
5. Having a sense of security and stability
1. Anticipating and controlling hidden costs
2. Reducing financial impact of workplace injuries
3. Providing a proactive approach to cost containment
4. Improving your ability to manage an injury claim and any restrictions
5. Getting your experienced employees back to work, resulting in less time and money spent on recruiting and hiring.
There are some important things to consider to make sure a worker successfully completes their Suitable Duties Plan and makes a full and speedy return to work. Early intervention and a focus on returning to work decreased sick leave and increased the likelihood of a return to work. The strategy was found to be cost effective and improved the employee's self-reported health. Co-operation between healthcare providers, insurance companies and employers was found to be efficient in saving time and improving the relationship between the employee and the insurance company.
Integration of an Allied Health Professional like a Physiotherapist facilitated more timely changes to the workplace, rehabilitation and training.
Even though the upfront costs can be higher, studies have shown a 7 fold return on investment early in the workers injury. Put simply for every $1 spent on early intervention, $7 was gained in the long term through lower insurance premiums, fewer recruiting costs or adversarial claims. As an added bonus, interventions have been shown to decrease exposure to risk for other employees.
If you would like to learn more, or arrange for a review for yourself or one of your employees, please contact us. We are affiliated with all major Insurers, Workcover, Comcare and Garrison Health.
Call us on 3350 2596