Rehabilitation/Return to work (WorkCover) procedure


To provide a workplace based Rehabilitation/Return to Work process for all staff following a work related injury, ensuring a quick, safe and cost effective return.

To outline the rights and obligations of staff, managers and Human Resources.


All staff – continuing and fixed term.


Casual staff and agency/contract or any other staff who are not employed directly by RMIT University

Procedure steps and actions



Indicative Timeline


1.1 A staff member who has sustained a work related injury or illness notifies manager/Supervisor and submits an incident report form.

1.2 If the injury involves medical costs and /or time lost from work, the injured/ ill staff member submits a WorkCover claim form and a WorkCover certificate of capacity (not exceeding 14 days) to Human Resources.

Injured/ ill staff member

As soon as practicable following injury or onset of illness.

Advice and Support

2.1 Electronic and hard copy documentation commences (see 4. Documentation)

2.2 In accordance with legislation, development of an official RTW Plan, even if no Offer of Suitable Employment (OSE) is attached.

Plan forwarded to WorkCover Agent. Goals are focused on future recovery and return to pre-injury duties.

Human Resources

As early as possible after an injury/illness is reported but at the latest within 10 days after the 20th calendar day of no current work capacity even if claim pending.

2.3 Determination as to whether external Rehabilitation Provider is required, based on nature and severity of injury, predicted time frame for rehabilitation and nature of pre injury work of injured/ ill staff member.

If no rehabilitation provider is required, go to step 3.

Human Resources

Usually when claim is accepted but before if the need is obvious.

2.4 Contact injured/ ill staff member to discuss and advise on the choice of rehabilitation provider. In accordance with legislation, send list of minimum of three providers with a form requiring official notification of choice.

Human Resources

Refer to 2.3

2.5 In accordance with legislation, selection and written confirmation of selection of rehabilitation provider.

Injured/ ill staff member

Within 14 days of date of notification.

2.6 If no response is received, the University will select the provider.

Human Resources

Refer to 2.5

3. Consultation and RTW Plan Development

3.1 In accordance with legislation, provision of regular medical certificates indicating capacity to work and any restrictions to duties or hours that should be considered to Human Resources.

Certificates must be official WorkCover certificates of capacity, should have start, end and review dates and be signed by treating medical practitioner

Injured/ ill staff member

On regular and continuous basis so that status is validated at all times.

3.2 Consultation with manager to determine position description and normal duties and discuss any barriers, possible duties and restrictions.

Human Resource

When injured/ ill staff member has anticipated or confirmed capacity to resume work.

3.3 Provide information to rehabilitation provider if rehabilitation provider is engaged.

Human Resources

Refer to 3.2

3.4 In accordance with legislation, provide a list of suitable duties accommodating any restrictions to duties or hours that should be considered for injured/ ill staff member. As many of the pre injury duties as possible should be included.

Human Resources

Refer to 3.2

3.5 If suitable alternative duties are required and cannot be accommodated in injured/ ill staff member’s original work unit, support in identifying and locating alternate equivalent duties in alternate work unit


In anticipation of injured/ ill staff member’s RTW

3.6 Contact with the treating medical practitioner to discuss any barriers, possible duties and restrictions and for approval of proposed duties and hours.

Rehabilitation provider if applicable or
Human Resources.

When injured/ ill staff member has anticipated or confirmed capacity to resume work.

(More proactive approach)

3.7 Regular contact maintained with injured/ ill staff member, treating medical practitioner, manager and rehabilitation provider (if applicable) until the injured/ ill staff member has some clearance to return to work.

Human Resources

On regular basis and in accordance with frequency of provided medical certificates.

3.8 In accordance with legislation, development of OSE and RTW plan based on medical certificate and in conjunction with injured/ill staff member, manager, treating medical practitioner and rehabilitation provider if applicable.

Rehabilitation provider if applicable, or Human Resources

When medical clearance (full or partial) certificate is received, and on a continuous basis until full clearance is achieved or twelve months from the date the claim was accepted, whichever occurs first.

3.9 Preparation of supportive work environment in terms of co workers.


Prior to commencement of injured/ ill staff member resuming work.

3.10 Provision of safe and healthy working environment for returning injured/ ill staff member, including organisation of a workstation assessment if required, and modifications to equipment and area.

Manager with the supported by the rehabilitation provider if applicable, or Human Resources in conjunction with Senior Advisor Health and Safety

Either prior to or on first day of resumption of work.

3.11 If liability for the claim is rejected the procedure for non WorkCover RTW applies.

(Refer to Rehabilitation/Return to Work (non work cover) procedure)

3.12 Contact with injured/ ill staff member and manager to monitor and determine the success of the plan.

Rehabilitation provider if applicable or
Human Resources

Regularly over the course of the RTW plan.

4. Documentation

4.1 Documentation of letters, plans, meetings notes, and reviews.

Human Resources

Throughout process

4.2 In accordance with legislation, forwarding of up-to-date medical certificates of capacity maintaining continuity of dates to Human Resources. Certificates should have start, end and review dates and be signed by the treating medical practitioner.

Injured/ ill staff member

As soon as certificates are issued and prior to pay cut offs, on a continuous basis up to the time when a full clearance is given.

4.3 Review and Offer of subsequent OSE/ RTWs in accordance with legislation.


For 12 months after the acceptance of a claim.

4.4 In accordance with legislation, failure or refusal to co-operate can lead to termination of entitlements.

Throughout the process.

4.5 The process concludes if the injured/ ill staff member:

  • resumes pre injury duties
  • resumes modified duties, normal hours
  • resumes alternative duties, full time
  • resumes partial duties and is permanently unable
  • to resume full time
  • accepts a settlement of the WorkCover claim
  • resigns or retires
  • dies

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