Workplace rehabilitation represents a great investment and according to a Swiss Re 2014 Rehabilitation Watch study, WRPs deliver significant value with a return on investment of between $28 to $32 for every $1 invested.
Referral to rehabilitation just one month earlier saves money in all jurisdictions. For example, NSW would save $30M each year, and in Queensland independent research showed over a three-year period, government agencies saved $6M in premium, and $25M in oncosts from early intervention. Almost half (45%) of those were psychological events that did not progress to claim nor common law.
Independent research has confirmed the value and contribution of WRPs in getting people with and injury or illness back to work. In January 2018 a literature review conducted by an internationally renowned independent PhD-qualified researcher (Amanda Ellen Young, PhD) confirmed the effectiveness of workplace-based interventions in improving return to work outcomes.
In addition to being effective in helping people get back to work, the approach taken by WRPs has been found to be associated with the achievement of positive outcomes that are more durable (Steenstra, Anema et al. 2006, Williams-Whitt, Bultmann et al. 2016).
The importance of a durable (sustainable) RTW cannot be underestimated. From an economic perspective, it has been found that in the case of disability due to low back pain, costs associated with recurrent disability are higher than in first episodes. For those with recurrent work disability, 69% of total lost time from work, 71% of associated indemnity costs, and 84% of total medical costs occurred during the recurrent period (Wasiak, Kim et al. 2006). Further, it has been shown that there is a systematic trend of increased absence duration with each subsequent recurrence of work disability (Rossignol, Suissa et al. 1992).