Your return to work obligations

All employers in NSW must have a RTW program within 12 months of starting a business. Your RTW program must:

  • be developed in consultation with your workers and any industrial union representing them
  • be consistent with your insurer's injury management plan
  • comply with SIRA’s Guidelines for workplace return to work programs
  • be accessible and communicated to the workforce.

 


In the NSW workers compensation system, there are two categories of employers – Category 1 and Category 2. Each category has different obligations under the law.

These are outlined below.

Category 1 Employers:

A category 1 employer is an employer:

  • with a basic tariff premium over $50,000 a year, or
  • who is self-insured, or
  • insured by a specialised insurer and has over 20 employees

For you, creating a RTW program involves four main activities:

    1. Appoint a return to work coordinator

    2. Develop a return to work program

    3. Consult workers and unions

    4. Implement the return to work program

This return to work program checklist will help you develop, implement and review your RTW program.



Category 2 Employers:

A category 2 employer is any employer: 

  • who is not a category 1 employer
For you, creating a RTW program involves three main activities:
  1. Appoint a person responsible for recovery at work

  2. Develop a return to work program

  3. Implement the return to work program

You can adopt or customise this standard RTW program template for Category 2 employers.


Guidelines for workplace return to work programs

SIRA developed the Guidelines for workplace return to work programs (guidelines) in line with legislation to support, inform and guide employers, workers and other stakeholders in developing a RTW program.

The guidelines were updated in May 2017. Employers should update their RTW program to ensure it complies with the latest version at their next scheduled review.

All RTW programs must comply with the 2017 guidelines within two years from the date of effect of the guidelines (31 May 2017). In the meantime, your RTW program must continue to comply with the September 2010 version of the guidelines.

 

                                                   

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