Injury and illness support and rehabilitation

A support and rehabilitation programme details how the school or early learning service helps workers 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
  • an effective support and rehabilitation programme
  • 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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