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General FAQs:

Who does Work Options work for?

Work Options is an independent workforce health provider. We are engaged by employers, insurers or other agents to assist both employers and employees through the Workers Compensation process and/or with various aspects of workplace health and safety.

What areas does Work Options service?

Work Options’ Head Office is located in North Sydney however we offer our services Australia-wide.

Is Work Options accredited?

Work Options is an accredited provider by SIRA (State Insurance Regulatory Agency).

Can Work Options do work for iCare?

Yes, Work Options is an accredited agency and approved to complete rehabilitation services under iCare.

Workplace Rehabilitation FAQs:

What is Work Options role in my Workers Compensation claim?

Your Work Options Consultant is to be your main communication and support contact during your recovery journey and return to work. They will help to navigate through the system and assist you in reaching your milestones via upgrades in capacity, treatment success and return to work goals.

Do I need to provide suitable work duties to an injured worker?

Yes. Employers have a responsibility to provide suitable duties within a worker’s medical restrictions if they can. If suitable duties can’t be provided, the injured worker will remain off work even if they have some work capacity.

Who pays worker’s wages when they are off work/working reduced hours due to injury?

Hours worked by the Worker will be paid by the employer (at 100% of wage) and the rest of the pay will be topped up by the Insurance company at a percentage of your usual wage.

What NSW Worker’s Compensation Incentives Schemes are available for potential employers to support a worker in returning to work?

1) Work Trials (a voluntary placement program which can be arranged up to 12 weeks for an employer to on-board a worker without incurring costs to their business whilst allowing a worker to demonstrate their ability to work and support their recovery and return to work)

2) JobCover Placement Program (it gives eligible employers subsidies and incentives to employ workers who cannot return to work with their pre-injury employer)

3) Return To Work Assist Program for Micro Employers (it supports eligible employers with five or less workers with a basic premium tariff of $30,000 or less to offer suitable work through a graded return to work place whilst minimising the financial burden to the employer)

Drug and Alcohol FAQs:

What can you do as a business to minimise the negative risks that drugs and alcohol represent to you as a business and to individuals?

Firstly, it comes back to recruiting the “right” people. Having pre-employment drug and alcohol screens conducted is a simple and inexpensive way of identifying persons who may have drug or alcohol issues before you employ them. Helping you make sure you bring the right people into your workforce.

Second, is to have a system in place to address the issues of drugs and alcohol in the workplace and that has as its focus a purpose to minimise the risk of drugs and alcohol in the workplace. One small issue… it is difficult and complex. There are many legal and social aspects involved. The technical issues relating to drugs and alcohol are not only confusing but also appear to change very quickly. Many businesses elect to build a system in house, but the unfortunate reality is that many of these businesses do not realise that their system is flawed until it is tested in the courts. It is then that the real costs of such mistakes are really brought home.

What are some common mistakes businesses make in drug and alcohol management systems?

As a provider of drug and alcohol services we are often approached by businesses to provide advice on their drug and alcohol management systems, often only after an issue has been identified. Some of the common mistakes we see in businesses systems;

  • An umbrella policy statement has been developed but there is no detailed management system
  • The system does not apply to ALL
  • Thinks only about illegal drugs and fails to deal with prescribed and over the counter medications
  • Legal WHS consultation requirements not met in establishing the system
  • Terms such as “under the influence” or “impaired” used instead of establishing a clear standard of behaviour for the workforce
  • Does not have provisions for education and awareness training for the workforce or for the supervisors of the business who are the eyes and ears of the business
  • Does not have provisions for support for workers or management plans for individuals who have positive drug or alcohol readings. Management Plans can be relied on legally for termination if a person does not comply. Not having these provisions can lead to drawn out industrial relations problems that can lead to worker’s compensation claims.

Is there a business benefit to addressing the issues of drugs and alcohol?

If done correctly, the answer is absolutely. As a business you could potentially be absorbing substantial costs caused by the impact of drugs and alcohol. They are costs associated with absenteeism; productivity; workers compensation; worker health; security and employee morale.

The business benefit of addressing the issues of drugs and alcohol in the workplace (correctly) are clear;

  • Safer workplace = fewer WHS incidents and injuries = fewer WC claims = less downtime, less admin, less heartache, more productivity and less costs!
  • Reduced absenteeism = increased employee morale; increased employee health; more productivity and less costs!
  • Employer of choice = easier to attract and recruit the right people; keep the good ones you have = reduced recruiting costs = less costs!
  • Improved business image = competitive edge = winning more work and more profit!

Fitness for Work Assessments FAQs:

Why is it necessary for an employer to seek a pre-employment fit for work assessment?

A fit for work assessment (F4W©) is a valuable tool in identifying the suitability of a potential candidate for a role within the business to ensure they meet the inherent physical demands of the role.

Our unique F4W© program provides employers with a report on the person’s physical capability to perform the role without endangering themselves or others. The assessment gathers feedback around the person’s medical history, work history, the results of the physical assessment with the option of a drug and alcohol screen, and recommendations if the assessed individual is suited to the position.

Who conducts the fit for work assessment?

Our fitness for work assessments (F4W©) are conducted by a range of Allied Health Professionals within Work Options. Our expert team includes Occupational Therapists, Exercise Physiologists, Exercise Scientists and Physiotherapists.

Is it best to include a drug and alcohol test in a functional assessment?

Inclusion of a drug and alcohol screen is optional, however including a drug and alcohol test in the F4W© assessment helps an employer identify increased risk associated with drug or alcohol use at work. This may be particularly helpful for higher risk roles.

Contact us for any further questions relating to our services designed to protect your business from workplace risks.

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