ARPA is aware that across Australia, return to work rates over the last decade have stagnated. However, in some jurisdictions return to work rates have significantly reduced.
At the same time, the number of referrals to workplace rehabilitation continue to decline and the delay in referring an injured worker to workplace rehabilitation is blowing out. ARPA strongly believes that these delays and reduction in referrals are correlated directly to stagnated / reduced return to work rates, denying injured workers reasonable opportunities to achieve the best recovery and return to work outcome available to them.
To help ensure the financial viability of all Australian workers’ compensation schemes, ARPA National recommends that:
Where any worker is likely to be off work for more than 4 weeks, the insurer case manager must refer them to an accredited workplace rehabilitation provider for an independent rehabilitation assessment. This must happen within three working days of the triaging outcome. Triage is an essential component of the RTW process and should include timeframes for early referral to a WRP.