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Return to Work Policy

1. Purpose

To ensure that in the event of an employee sustaining an injury or illness, CIT assists the employee to return to health and work as safely and as quickly as possible.

2. Scope

This policy applies to all permanent, contract and casual CIT staff employed under the Public Sector Management Act 1994.

3. Principles

3.1 An early and sustainable return to work for an employee who has suffered an injury or illness is facilitated by early intervention and the development of a formal return to work plan.

3.2 Stakeholders in the return to work plan for an injured or ill staff member are:

  • Injured or ill employee
  • Manager/Supervisor
  • CMTEDD Injury Management Team Case Manager
  • CIT Workplace Support Coordinator
  • Comcare Australia
  • CIT Directors/Executive
  • Approved Rehabilitation Provider
  • Work colleagues/co-workers
  • Treating Practitioners

3.3 An early and sustainable return to work for an employee who has suffered an injury or illness will help reduce the long-term costs to both the employee and CIT.

3.4 Where reduced hours and/or duties are medically evidenced, a formal return to work plan or adjusted duties plan will be developed in consultation with an injured/ill employee, CIT's Workplace Support Coordinator and an employee’s manager. In the case of compensable injuries/illnesses a CMTEDD Injury Management Team Case Manager and rehabilitation provider (if required) will also be involved in the development of the plan.

3.5 CIT (and a CMTEDD Injury Management Team case manager in the case of compensable injuries/illnesses) will ensure that an employee understands his/her rights and responsibilities as part of a formal return to work plan.

3.6 The primary goal of a rehabilitation and return to work plan is to return an injured or ill employee to his/her pre-injury duties, hours and work location if possible.

3.7 To achieve a sustainable return to work, CIT may consider reduced hours, alternative duties, modified work patterns, varied work methods, postponing leave and/or skill development as part of a formal return to work plan.

3.8 Specific inclusions of an injured/ill employee's return to work plan will take into consideration the medical certification/restrictions of the injured/ill employee, and the business needs of the work area.

Return to Work Stakeholder Stakeholder Obligations
Ill or injured staff member
  • Advise supervisor or CIT Workplace Support Coordinator if/when injured/ill. Include advice of health status, treatment/rehabilitation plan and estimated return to work date.
  • Contribute to development of return to work plan and actively participate in return to work plan by complying with treatment/rehabilitation regime and incremental increases in hours/duties.
  • Provide supervisor and CIT Workplace Support Coordinator with regular updates of changing/improving health status (including medical certificates) and any needs, concerns, queries.
  • Arrange treatment outside working hours, whenever practical.
  • Submit medical certificates and leave applications in a timely manner.
Managers and supervisors
  • Report staff absences >5days to SER Team or CIT Workplace Support Coordinator.
  • Report if an employee is at risk of injury/illness and/or as soon an employee advises of an injury/illness.
  • Participate in the development and implementation of employee return to work plan.
  • Monitor wellbeing of employee, provide support and encouragement.
  • Encourage colleagues to support injured/ill employee's return to work.
CIT Workplace Support Coordinator
  • Facilitate early intervention and effective return to work of injured/ill employees by coordinating and overseeing the roles of all stakeholders.
  • Provide advice and support to injured/ill employees regarding their rights and responsibilities, and services available to them.
  • Develop and monitor the effective implementation of return to work plans in conjunction with all stakeholders.
  • Provide advice and support to managers/supervisors and CIT Directors/Executive regarding the return to work process, roles and responsibilities, the Comcare system.
CIT Directors/Executive
  • Ensure all staff are aware of CIT early intervention and return to work policies and procedures.
  • Provide suitable duties/employment for an injured/ill employee or assist employee to find such employment if possible.
CMTEDD Injury Management Team Case Manager (for compensation cases)
  • Oversee development of initial needs assessment, return to work assessment and a cost effective rehabilitation program.
  • In consultation with injured/ill employee, supervisor and CIT Workplace Support Coordinator engage an approved rehabilitation provider (if required).
  • Facilitate contact between the rehabilitation provider and an employee's medical or health practitioners.
  • In consultation with employee, supervisor, CIT Workplace Support Coordinator, rehabilitation provider and health practitioners, develop and monitor return to work plan through to closure.
  • Liaise with Comcare.
Comcare (for compensation cases)
  • Determine liability of claims in accordance with the SRC Act.
  • Where liability is accepted, provide incapacity payments and payments for medical/treatment services and/or rehabilitation aids in accordance with the SRC Act.
  • Provide advice on injury management, the Comcare System, the SRC Act.
Approved Rehabilitation Provider (for compensation cases)
  • Assess an injured/ill employee's capacity to participate in a rehabilitation program and/or return to work plan.
  • Negotiate return to work hours and suitable duties with injured/ill employee, supervisor and CIT Workplace Support Coordinator.
  • Attend injured/ill employee's medical reviews, consolidate medical opinions and treatment recommendations, implement effective and appropriate rehabilitation action.
  • Liaise with injured/ill employee, supervisor, CIT Workplace Support Coordinator during all stages of the rehabilitation process.
  • Facilitate injured/ill employee's sustainable return to pre injury hours and duties.
Treating Practitioners
  • Provide diagnosis, prognosis, medical treatment and rehabilitation recommendations for injured/ill employees.
  • Provide medical certificates stipulating fitness for duty (hours and duties).
  • Provide continuity of care for duration of return to work process.
All Stakeholders
  • Maintain injured/ill employee's privacy and confidentiality.

4. Documentation

Authority Source

  1. Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation (SRC) Act 1988.

Related Documents

  1. Public Sector Management Act Part 21 Rule 8.
  2. COMCARE, Return to Work Reference Guide, November 2002.

Supporting Guide

  1. Return to Work Procedure

5. Definitions

Compensable condition - An injury or illness for which liability to pay compensation has been determined under the SRC Act as being attributable to the employee's work at CIT.

Initial Needs Assessment - The assessment which determines the support and services an injured or ill CIT employee requires, and their fitness to undertake a rehabilitation program and/or return to work plan.

Liability - A legal obligation to pay compensation in accordance with the SRC Act.

Return To Work - An injured or ill employee's return to work.

6. Policy Contact Officer

Manager, Safety and Employment Relations.

Contact CIT Student Services on (02) 6207 3188 or email for further information.