At APM WorkCare we have found trust in the employer is integral to the success of a return to work.
Meanwhile a lack of communication, misperceptions, blame and animosity, all add to delays in an injured worker’s medical capacity.
These often create additional issues with commencing a return-to-work plan and secondary psychological conditions, and can lead to claims which directly impact case costs, case durations and return to work outcomes.
Busy environments and the pressure on business leaders to do more with less only increases the tensions between employees and their employers.
Factors impacting recovery
- Return-to-work information sheet - Comcare
- The National Return to Work Survey - The Role of the Employer
What you can do
Three things you can do as an employer to build and maintain trust once an injury occurs:
1. Respond positively. This does not mean celebrating if the employee wants to make a compensation claim. It does mean accepting their right to lodge a claim, and letting them know that you will support them with the necessary process. Raising any perceptions you have regarding the integrity of the claim with the worker will not be beneficial.
2. Refer early. Workplace rehabilitation providers are able to support the workplace needs whilst also facilitating recovery for the worker, and can assist with mediating competing stakeholder interests whilst preserving the employee/employer relationship.
3. Communicate. Many employers do not contact their workers when they are off work, particularly in the case of a workers compensation claim. Checking in with the worker is a genuine human behaviour which is often appreciated by the worker, and prevents them from questioning their value and your support.