- Workplace category
Support your people, especially in challenging times.
When an employee is injured or unwell, they need to know they’re supported to recover and get back to work.
- Do you offer clear processes for supporting your people?
- Are you regularly checking in with them?
- Do your employees know how to access temporary or longer-term support or variations to their job to suit their current health issues?
What you can do
Create options for reasonable adjustments, flexible work hours or work-from-home options. Seek external support services for your injured or unwell employees sooner rather than later.
1. Response and support
Provide accessible ways for your employees to tell you when their illness or injury is affecting their work.
- Have regular wellbeing ‘check-ins’ and make sure to follow up
- Give all employees regular information about how to access support programs
- Set up an Employee Assistance Program for confidential counselling services
2. Work adjustments
Be open to changes or supports that can be put in place to keep people working when they face health issues.
- Offer temporary reduction in hours
- Consider a temporary change in duties
- Understand recovery requirements and adjust the physical workspace if needed
3. Injury management
Make access to confidential external services easy, especially for injury management and return to work programs.
- Engage with treatment providers as part of an employee’s injury management plan, if appropriate
- Have a clear process for injury management tailored to either physical or mental health conditions
- Make sure managers have the information required to support an employee’s return to work
4. Flexible work
Give employees flexibility so they can continue to contribute during challenging times or changes in life.
- Create a workplace that recognises work-life balance
- Allow flexibility in timing of breaks
- Introduce flexible work options for personal appointments
Please note: These are only suggested resources. Organisations should consider their own needs when selecting resources to use.
Response and support
- National Mental Health Commission: Resource finder – Resourceson mental health that can be sorted by industry, role, topics and modules.
- Comcare: Workplace health and safety management system – Explanation on what a health and safety management system is and how to develop one.
- Comcare: Principles for better practice employee EAP services – PDF booklet on evidence-informed guidance to help organisations develop an EAP that better meets the needs of employers, workers, supervisors, and managers.
- Comcare: Monitoring and Evaluation Framework for EAP counselling services – PDF booklet outlining a framework to drive quality improvement initiatives and evidence-based decision-making to help ensure EAP services are fit-for-purpose, responsive, and adaptive to the changing needs of employers, workers, supervisors, and managers.
- Employee Assistance Professional Association of Australasia: EAP Providers – List of EAP providers (note: this is not inclusive of all Australia providers)
- Australian Unions: Injury reporting – Factsheet on injury reporting in Australia.
- Comcare: Rehabilitation programs – Rehabilitation programs explained, information on monitoring your progress and further resources.
- Comcare: Benefits of returning to work – Details the benefits of returning to or recovering at work after a work-related injury or illness and further information.
- Comcare: Suitable Employment – Information on different types of employment including graduated return to work, internal placement and re-deployment.
- Comcare: Reasonable adjustments – Information on the benefits of reasonable adjustment, examples and a workers role in the process.
- IncludeAbility is designed to support employers who want to create meaningful employment opportunities for people with disability and people with disability seeking employment, developing a career or considering self-employment.
- WorkSafe ACT: Injury management and rehabilitation – Information on injury management, rehabilitation, vocational rehabilitation and workplace rehabilitation provider approval.
- SafeWork Australia: Managing the relationship with an injured or ill worker during return to work – This guide focuses on the relationship between the supervisor and the injured or ill worker across four key stages of the return to work process: when the worker is first injured or falls ill, while they are away from work, as they prepare to return to work and when they return to work.
- Comcare: Injury management advisory service – Information on the purpose of the advisory service, who can access it and what advice is offered.
- Fair Work Ombudsman: Workers Compensation – Information on what workers compensation is, who to contact for workers compensation advice and help, and related information.
- SafeWork Australia: National Return to Work Strategy 2020-2030 – A national strategy to drive and leverage national action to improve return to work outcomes for workers with a work-related injury or illness. This strategy addresses return to work in a national context.
- Comcare: Early Intervention – Early intervention explained and information on how to put early intervention into practice.
- Australian Human Rights Commssion: Flexible work arrangements – Information on flexible work and supporting resources.
- Fair Work Ombudsman: Flexible working arrangements – Information on who can request flexible working arrangements, how employees can request flexible working arrangements, what employers should do with a request, lodging a dispute with the Commission State and territory laws as well as tools, resources and related information.
- Comcare: Providing flexible work – Information and video on flexible providing flexible work.
- SafeWork Australia: Changing ways of work – Overview by
Sinead McHugh, Director of WHS Framework.
- Swinburne: Hybrid Working in Australia – Describes the challenges of hybrid work and how organisations can make hybrid work a success.
All businesses are different and face unique problems and challenges. Make your health and wellbeing program relevant for your business and your employees. It may take a few attempts to find the right strategies that work for your organisation.
To explore all potential workplace support strategies, download the information sheet.
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