Revisiting return to work coordinators. Building bridges 2010-2016
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Effective from 1 January 2009, employers with 30 employees or more were legislatively required to appoint rehabilitation and return to work (RTW) coordinators (“Coordinators”) in South Australia. This decision followed the Clayton Review of the worker’s compensation system with Coordinators responsible for the organisation’s internal management of work-related injuries and the rehabilitation and return to work of injured employees. The year following the implementation of the legislation, in 2010, the team from the Australian Industrial Transformation Institute (AITI)1 conducted a survey of 570 Coordinators for RTWSA2 (Hordacre, Katterl, Chiveralls, Barnett, & Spoehr, 2010). The online survey explored the demographic and workplace characteristics of Coordinators, the perceived efficacy of their training and professional development activities, the value placed on the role by organisations, barriers to RTW, and usefulness of strategies to promote RTW in the workplace. Six years on RTWSA sought to repeat the survey in order to: Compare the characteristics and perceptions of Coordinators in 2010 and 2016; Understand their experiences, organisational role and the way they engage with injured workers; Examine what has worked in the six years since their inception; Explore other challenges that have emerged over this time; and Clarify how the new RTW Act will impact on the function of Coordinators in the workplace and within the scheme.
©  Flinders University / Australian Industrial Transformation Institute