On 26th September our Managing Director, Karen Castledine, attended the launch of Business NSW’s report on ‘Fixing the NSW Workers Compensation Scheme’, in her role as ARPA NSW President. The Honourable Sophie Cotsis MP spoke of her keen desire to drive positive change in injury and claims management to benefit injured workers, help them get back to work, and protect businesses from costly claims and increasing workers compensation premiums. We couldn’t agree more!
Dan Hunter, CEO at Business NSW, said “it should start with injured workers” when looking at fixing the NSW workers compensation scheme. We couldn’t agree more!
Thomas Costa from Unions NSW said their number one priority was to “fix return to work rates”. We couldn’t agree more!
As Workplace Rehabilitation Providers we understand the significant negative impacts that long-term worklessness can have on mental health and well-being. We have long advocated for shifting rehabilitation spend to the start of a claim, not well after the 4 week period (or longer!). When a Workplace Rehabilitation Provider is involved, we take a biopsychosocial approach, including screening for psychosocial factors that may impede or delay return to work, we educate workers, employers and doctors on the Health Benefits of Good Work, and develop a Recover at Work Plan tailored to the injured worker’s needs. In addition, we help employers to identify suitable work duties and how they can support their worker recover at work.
Only an accredited Workplace Rehabilitation Provider, who has qualified and experienced allied health professionals, can conduct a Workplace Assessment to properly assess a worker’s pre-injury role and identify suitable duties. Further, the Workplace Rehabilitation Provider can talk to the doctor and other treaters to determine work capacity and negotiate a suitable Recover at Work Plan. Only a Workplace Rehabilitation Provider can conduct a Functional Capacity Evaluation to determine a worker’s functional capacities. And, if the worker cannot return to their pre-injury role, only a Workplace Rehabilitation Provider can conduct a Vocational Assessment to identify suitable alternative work and provide specialised support to find a new role.
We look forward to seeing positive change that benefits injured workers, employers and the NSW Workers Compensation Scheme.
By Karen Castledine, Managing Director