Injury and illness management, support and rehabilitation

On this page, you can find guidance on how best to manage staff illness and injury. This page also includes downloadable resources that aid with reporting incidents and following proper procedures.

Level of complianceMain audienceOther

Required

  • Boards 
  • All Early Learning Services
  • Teachers and Tumuaki
  • Administrators
  • Public Health

Boards and early learning services are PCBUs (Person Conducting a Business or Undertaking). They have a duty to report incidents to WorkSafe, manage worker injuries and illnesses, and have in place a health and safety management system among other responsibilities outlined in the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015. A support and rehabilitation programme helps workers to return to work safely and successfully. It is part of the board and early learning services’ health and safety management system.

Managing injuries or illnesses developed in the workplace

Notifiable events, illness, injuries and incidents all require due care.

If you are a PCBU, following proper procedures and protocols ensures that you are meeting your requirements under the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015.

Descriptions of each type of notifiable situation as well as the reporting protocol are on Worksafe’s website, the entity who you must report the incident to.

Contact Worksafe for guidance if you are unsure if you need to report a situation. Call: 0800 030 040
In an emergency, always call emergency services. Call: 111

Injury and illness support and rehabilitation

A support and rehabilitation programme details how a school or early learning service helps workers to return to work safely and successfully. It is part of the board and early learning services’ health and safety management system.

Support and rehabilitation programmes 

A successful return to work can be helped by:

  • ensuring relevant workplace hazards (including psycho-social) are addressed appropriately
  • having an effective support and rehabilitation programme
  • having an effective return to work plan
  • effective co-operation between the parties involved, which may include the board or early learning service, the ill or injured person’s manager, co-workers, the health and safety representative, ACC, treatment provider and occupational health nurse.

The health and safety representative has a specified role under the Act in promoting the interests of workers who have suffered illness or injury at work, including involvement in the arrangements for rehabilitation and return to work.

Creating a return to work plan

A return to work plan details actions to be carried out to help a worker return to work safely after injury or illness. This must take into account the worker’s medical condition, age, skills, work experience and their pre-injury or illness employment.

The plan is developed in consultation with the board or early learning service, the ill or injured worker, the Health and Safety Representative and other relevant parties such as the union representative, the treatment provider, ACC and the medical insurer.

The plan should include clear objectives, a list of actions to be taken to enable return to work and the person responsible for each action.

It may include:

  • modified or alternative duties being offered
  • hours of work (start/end times and number of hours) and work breaks (frequency and duration)
  • support, aids or modifications to the workplace
  • special needs or conditions and what will be done to help (for example, assistance with transport)
  • time frames
  • monitoring and reviewing progress so that problems can be identified and managed early.

Remember, the prime objective is to return the worker to their pre-injury or illness status.

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