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Procedure: Management of non-work related injury and illness

Purpose

To assist staff managing non-work related injury and illness.

Definitions

External Return to Work Coordinator - A person who assists workers return to either pre-injury or suitable duties in a safe and durable manner. Acts as the liaison between the injured worker and their doctor/s, supervisors and managers to assist the worker to return to work.

Inherent requirements - The essential outcomes that must be achieved as part of a job, i.e. those tasks or skills that cannot be allocated elsewhere, are a major part of the job, or have significant consequences if they are not performed.

Management/ Return to work plan - A document that outlines the staff member's return to work back to full duties and is agreed by both the staff member and their supervisor

  • The return to work plan, signed by both the supervisor and staff member, should clearly outline:
  • The variation in hours, days or duties that will be carried out and;
  • The timeframe in which the staff member will return to their substantive position

Medical redeployment - In the event that the staff member is unable to return to their substantive position within a reasonable timeframe (12 months), the University will ensure that all reasonable efforts are made to redeploy the staff member to suitable alternative employment/duties.

Medical retirement - If the staff member is at the stage where retirement may be considered, they may be given the option to sign a pre-retirement contract.

Physical workplace - The physical work environment of the staff member including workstation, immediate work area and access into and out of the building in which they work.

Reasonable Adjustment - Workplace changes or "workplace adjustments" that need to be made to the work environment of the staff member if that person needs them to perform the essential activities of the job.

Reasonable timeframe - Where the medical report states that the staff member is unable to perform his or her duties, and is unlikely to be able to perform them and/or resume them within 12 months.

Representative - Person acting on behalf of the injured/ ill staff member at their request. Can include but is not limited to family members or treating practitioner.

Substantive position - the role the staff member was performing prior to becoming injured/ ill

Working Capacity - What makes up a staff member's work such as days/ hours worked, job duties and level of responsibility.

Procedure

Introduction

  1. There will be times when an ANU staff member is injured or becomes ill and the injury or illness is not work-related. Under the Disability Discrimination Act 1992, the University is responsible for providing reasonable adjustment to help the staff member perform the inherent requirements of their substantive position. This procedure guides managers, supervisors and staff through the return to work process and provides alternatives if the staff member cannot fully return to work.

Responsibilities

Injured or Ill Staff Members

  1. An injured or ill staff member is responsible for:
  • Reporting their injury or illness to their supervisor as soon as possible;

Note. If, for any reason, the staff member cannot report, their representative should do so.

  • Giving their supervisor a medical certificate with details of:
  • the nature of the injury or illness,
  • the recommended date of return to work, and
  • recommended adjustments, if necessary, to aid the return to work;
  • Confirming with their supervisor the expected date of their return to work;
  • Working with their supervisor to develop a return to work plan;

Note. If the supervisor employs an external Return to Work Co-ordinator to help with developing and carrying out the plan, work also with the Co-ordinator.

  • Once they have returned to work, tell their supervisor immediately if they consider the return to work plan needs further adjustments.

Supervisors

  1. Once they are aware of an injury or illness, Supervisors are responsible for:
  • Keeping contact with their staff member to ensure they understand: the nature of the illness or injury, the likely time frame off work and what to expect when the staff member returns to work; identifying the resources available through the University and the help that is available to the staff member on their return; taking all reasonable steps to return the staff member to their substantive position; ensuring the staff member is aware of the process and possible results of their return from injury or illness; overseeing the staff member on their return and throughout the return to work period and providing necessary support;

When Work Environment Group cannot help, contacting the external provider for support in the staff member's return to work;

Note. Work Environment Group will provide contact details of a relevant external provider; and

  • Taking all reasonable steps to find a suitable position for the staff member where the staff member cannot return to their substantive position.

Staff Disability Consultant, Work Environment Group

  1. The Staff Disability Consultant is responsible for advising and aiding the supervisor where necessary, in;
  • Organising workplace assessments;
  • Interpreting medical certificates; and
  • Providing details of a relevant external provider, if needed, to help develop a return to work plan.

The return to work process

  1. The following alternatives exist for an injured or ill staff member returning to work:
  • Return to work, full capacity,
  • Return to work, with adjustments to the physical workplace,
  • Return to work, with adjustments to working capacity,
  • Unable to return to their substantive position within 12 months.

Note: If the supervisor becomes aware that their staff member is not coping, they should reassess the situation and if necessary, seek alternative solutions.

Return to work - Full capacity

  1. To return to work at full capacity, with no adjustments needed, a staff member must provide a medical certificate confirming they are fit for full duties.

Return to work - Adjustments to physical workplace

  1. The following Table provides details of responsibilities where the staff member needs adjustments to their physical workplace.

Stage

Who

Description

1

The staff member

1. Tells their supervisor they need adjustments to their physical workplace, and

2. Provides details of the adjustments needed, with supporting evidence.

2

The supervisor

1. Contacts the Staff Disability Consultant to seek a workplace assessment, and

2. Provides the supporting evidence to the Staff Disability Consultant.

3

Staff Disability Consultant

1. Conducts an initial assessment, considering the scope and nature of the need;

2. Advises on the most suitable course of action; and

3. Where needed, organises the workplace assessment through:

· Injury Management Branch (depending on their availability),

· Job Access or,

· An external provider.

Return to work - Adjustments to working capacity

  1. The following Table gives details of responsibilities where the staff member needs adjustments to their working capacity.

Stage

Who

Description

1

The Supervisor

1. Sets up the inherent requirements of the role; and

2. Seeks a medical report from the staff member outlining:

· the nature of the injury/ illness,

· recommended date of return to work, and

· recommended adjustments to aid the return to work.

2

The staff member

1. Provides the medical report from their doctor, or

2. Signs an Authority to Disclose Form (attached) and gives it to their supervisor.

3

The supervisor

Asks for a copy of the medical report from the doctor.

4

The doctor

Provides the medical report to the supervisor.

5

The supervisor

Develops a return to work plan (attached) with the staff member, to return them to their substantive position within a reasonable time frame.

Note: The supervisor may contact the Staff Disability Consultant to help with the return to work process and use an external return to work coordinator.

Unable to return to substantive position within 12 months

  1. Where the medical report confirms the staff member cannot return to their substantive position within a reasonable time frame (12 months), the University will begin action under Clause 55 of the ANU Enterprise Agreement 2010-2012.

Funding the return to work of individual staff members

  1. The following table provides details of the responsibilities of the budget unit and the University where returning the staff member to work has costs associated with reasonable adjustment of the physical workplace that are not covered by Job Access. All other costs, including medical costs and the use of external providers, are the responsibility of the budget unit.

If …

Then …

The cost of an individual claim is $500 or less

The budget unit is responsible for providing the funding.

The cost of an individual claim exceeds $500

The budget unit will be responsible for the first $500 plus half the cost of the next $1000, with a maximum of $1000 being paid by the budget unit.

The balance of the cost will be provided by central ANU funds.

Note: Address all requests for refund from central ANU funds to the Associate Director, Work Environment, using the attached form.

Information

Printable version (PDF)
Title Management of non work-related injury and illness
Document Type Procedure
Document Number ANUP_000683
Version 6
Purpose To assist staff managing non-work related injury and illness.
Audience Staff
Category Administrative
Topic/ SubTopic Health, Safety & Environment
 
Effective Date 12 Jul 2011
Review Date 30 Sep 2015
 
Responsible Officer Director, Human Resources
Approved By: Chief Operating Officer
Contact Area Human Resources Division
Authority Disability Discrimination Act 1992