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An early, planned and safe return to work after an injury is an important step in maintaining your employee’s health and wellbeing. Returning to work as soon as possible has been proven to benefit both the injured worker and the company where the injury occurred. These benefits include assisting the injured worker’s mental wellbeing through support and comradeship as well as reduced insurance premiums for the employer.

To promote a successful return to work, assistance is required in the form of collaboration between the worker, the treating doctor, the injury management provider and the employer and their insurer. To achieve the best return to work outcome possible, it is important to ensure that injury management occurs rapidly with a view to develop a suitable duties plan. Timely and effective occupational rehabilitation programs are imperative to ensure the return to work after an injury is successful.

Occupational Rehabilitation

In order for an employee to achieve an early and successful return to work, suitable duties must be identified that mirror the injured worker’s capacity. When considering a return to work, occupational rehabilitation providers follow what is known as a ‘return to work hierarchy’. This hierarchy preferences returning the employee to the same employer where possible. If this is not possible, the employee may have to be redeployed to another employer. The return to work hierarchy is as follows:Return to Work Hierarchy Same Employer New Employer

Image Credit: WorkSafe Victoria

At KINNECT, our aim is to have the injured employee return to the same job for the same employer where the injury occurred. In order for this to happen, a same employer return to work plan needs to be developed.

Same Employer

Returning to work with the same employer after an injury involves an assessment of the nature of the employee’s injury and how the workplace may be able to accommodate such injury. Recovering with the same employer includes services such as:

  • Education sessions with the employee and employer guided by the health benefits of good work to assess how the workplace can manage the employee’s injury
  • Functional capacity evaluations to determine the injured worker’s capacity for their pre-injury job role
  • Identification of suitable duties that the employee can undertake while recovering
  • Identification of adjustments that can be made, e.g. workplace modifications including job tasks, tools, equipment, working environment
  • Identification of potential barriers in the workplace that may adversely affect the injured workers recovery
  • Implementation of a return to work plan with specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and timely goals

New Employer

Sometimes, it is just not possible for the injured employee to return to their pre-injury employer. This could be due to lack of potential modifications in the workplace suitable for the nature of the employee’s injury. If this is the case, KINNECT assists the injured employee to return to work with a new employer. Recovering with a new employer includes services such as:

  • Initial needs assessments
  • Employee transferrable skills assessment (taking into consideration education and experience) to identify alternative work options
  • Job seeking assistance; resume building and interview preparation
  • Pre-employment assessments
  • Labour market analysis

How can KINNECT assist?

KINNECT is a national workplace rehabilitation services provider. If you or your employee has been injured, we can assist in recovery leading to a successful return to work. To achieve a return to work either with the same employer or new employer, we will work closely with the injured employee, the employer, the insurer and any treating health professionals. In our experience, this collaborative return to work process leads to the best outcomes for everyone.


NSW Government State Insurance Regulatory Authority, What to expect from your workplace rehabilitation provider

WorkSafe Victoria, Return to Work


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