Safe Work Australia releases return to work strategy

Safe Work Australia has launched the National Return to Work Strategy 2020-2030.

This national initiative sets an ambitious agenda to minimise the impact of work-related injury and illness, and optimise workers’ recovery and capacity to work.

More than half a million Australians sustain a work-related injury or illness each year, according to Safe Work Australia. The impact of this is felt in their daily lives, their families and their communities.

“Workers are at the heart of the Strategy – we want to help them recover and return to a safe and supportive workplace,” Safe Work Australia chief executive Michelle Baxter said.

To date, jurisdictions have largely worked separately on return to work issues. Safe Work Australia has partnered with governments, business, industry and unions to develop a widely supported, evidence-based plan for national action.

“The strategy is built on a shared commitment to improve outcomes for workers and paves the way for ongoing national collaboration,” Baxter said.

The return to work process can be complex and involves a range of stakeholders. The strategy aims to better support workers through this process, and help stakeholders to do the same, according to Safe Work Australia.

It is aimed at those who influence work and workplaces including policy makers, workers’ compensation authorities, employers, union and industry groups, insurers and claims management organisations, treating health practitioners, workplace rehabilitation providers, and other worker advocates.