Managing your Injured Workers on Workers Compensation

Are you a business with 5 or less employees? You may be eligible for funding to assist your injured employees

Sometimes it can be difficult for businesses to provide suitable work to an injured employee while they recover from a workplace injury because medical injury ‘restrictions’ may make it impossible to provide work and maintain the business. It may work well for both the employer and the injured employee if they can work with another employer while they recover. The Return to Work Program for micro employers from icare can make this happen.

The way it works is that the claims agent will pay the injured employee for up to six weeks. With the money you save on wages, you can pay other employees overtime or employ a casual employee.

There are some steps you need to take to access the program: first you need to be sure that you are eligible – you must have five or less employees with a premium tariff of $30,000 or less; second you must show that you are financially unable to offer suitable work in the first 13 weeks after the injury.

A workplace rehabilitation provider will help identify suitable work and develop a plan for your injured employee. The insurer will continue to pay for up to six weeks – saving you from paying their wages for that period.

The costs of the Program are not considered as claims costs and therefore won’t have a negative effect on your premium.

“There’s no doubt that injured employees are better off working in some capacity while they recover. By providing suitable work it will help resolve the employee’s compensation claim which in turn will help reduce your premium costs. It can be difficult for very small businesses to provide suitable work which is why this Program is so good” said Rex Bashford, CEO Motor Trades Cover Pty Ltd.

For more information ask your scheme agent.

What if an injured employee can never return – how will that affect my workers’ compensation premium?

It can be very sad but sometimes after an injury an employee cannot return to their regular job, despite all efforts to assist them. If they continue to have limited or no capacity for work, the Insurer will continue to pay them and your premium will continue to increase.

Before you say goodbye to them, think of the costs of losing that employee:

  • Cost of finding and training a new employee
  • Losing their knowledge of the business and the industry
  • Reduced morale of other employees
  • Increased (and increasing) workers’ compensation premium.

So, it doesn’t have to be the end. There are government programs which can assist injured employees retrain for a new job either with you or a new employer.

This Work Trial Program provides work-based opportunities for your employee to upgrade their capacity, develop skills, and/or gain on the job experience with a host employer where you are unable to provide suitable work.

A workplace rehabilitation provider conducts a workplace assessment to match the capacity of the trainee (employee) to the essential requirements of the job, and assess their ability to perform the tasks safely.

The Training program can help your employee develop new skills and qualifications to change roles within your organisation or to get a new job. It may involve formal study with TAFE, university or a registered training organisation.

Course fees and associated expenses (eg textbooks, stationery, travel and accommodation) may also be covered.

“It makes good business sense to try and keep your employees or help them get a new job. It shows your other employees that you care. In addition, you’re making savings on your workers’ compensation premium. Why not give these programs a go?” said Rex Bashford, CEO Motor Trades Cover Pty Ltd.

For eligibility criteria and more information talk to your scheme agent.

Need new equipment for an injured employee? You may be eligible for funding

The Equipment and workplace modification program provides funding for workplace equipment or modifications to help your injured employee stay at work and progress their recovery.

Modifications may be specific to your employee’s functional needs or the equipment may be necessary if they start a new role (eg a basic toolkit for a maintenance employee). The equipment has to be the type of equipment that you wouldn’t ordinarily buy for your employees.

If you can no longer employ an injured employee and they have an ongoing workers’ compensation claim, your premium may be very badly affected. Accessing government rehabilitation programs may save you more money than you think.

“When a valuable employee is lost, the business loses their training, experience and knowledge of the business processes. It’s very costly to train and replace good employees so why not look at new equipment and modifications so that they can stay” said Rex Bashford, CEO Motor Trades Pty Ltd..

For more information contact your scheme agent.