An important part of recovering from your accident and getting on with life is returning to work. Returning to work means you are getting back to your normal routine and managing your injury rather than letting it dominate your life.
How the TAC can help
The TAC will work with you, your employer and your health professional to help you return to work. First we will:
- Contact you to find out how you are managing with your injury
- Discuss whether you've considered returning to work
- Explain what options and supports are available to make your return as smooth as possible
The TAC will work with your treating doctor to explore what tasks you are able to perform. We will also talk with your employer to see what alternative duties you can do while you are recovering from your injuries. In many cases, the TAC can assist you with income support during the return to work process.
A range of services and benefits are available to help you return to work as soon as possible. TAC services and benefits include:
- Loss of earnings benefits
- Travel to work benefit
- Return to work program, which could include:
- vocational assistance
- workplace assessment
- workplace modifications or equipment
Contact the TAC on 1300 654 329 to discuss your options.
More information on these services and benefits is also available in the TAC's Returning to Work brochure.
Tips for returning to work
Here are some hints for managing your return to work:
- If you're unsure whether you are able to, or should, return to work, a good idea is to talk to your doctor about your options. Your doctor can advise you of your options, such as taking regular breaks to do exercises, or doing alternative duties or modified hours. Remember, if you return to work on reduced hours, the TAC can pay you partial income support
- Find out if your workplace has an occupational health and safety (OHS) representative and/or human resources officer who can help you get into the swing of things. If not, find out who is the best person at your work to talk to about your injury and your return to work
- Call your employer regularly and let them know how you're progressing. Let them know that you may be able to return to work before you have fully recovered from your injuries.
Once you're back at work
Once you've returned to work, there are a number of things that you can do to ensure that your transition is as smooth as possible.
- If your job involves a lot of sitting, reorganise your schedule so that you can get up each hour to walk and stretch to avoid getting stiff and sore.
- If you return to a job in which some lifting is unavoidable, only lift items that you can manage comfortably.
- Talk to your employer about taking time out during the day to do your exercise program. Explain that the program will help you return to full duties sooner.
As an employer you have an important role to play in your employee's successful return to work. A timely return to work can help your employee's overall rehabilitation after an accident.
Please refer to the relevant brochure below:
For employers who had a staff member involved in a transport accident
For employers who are considering employing a TAC client, or who have recently employed a TAC client
View Vocational Services Panel
Vocational Services Panel
This is the list of Vocational providers contracted to assist TAC clients with their Return to Work.
Please speak with your TAC Officer if you would like to discuss the services offered by the Vocational Services Panel.
View Returning to work
Returning to work
This booklet explains how TAC clients can work positively with their employer, health professionals and the TAC to coordinate a safe and smooth return to work. It outlines the TAC services and benefits, such as workplace assessments and modifications, that are available to assist return to work. There's also a useful planner tool and answers to frequently asked questions about return to work programs.
View Occupational Physicians - helping you get back to work (for clients with spinal cord injuries)
Occupational Physicians - helping you get back to work (for clients with spinal cord injuries)
This publication explains how occupational physicians - specialist doctors who have expertise in helping people who have had serious accidents return to the workforce - can assist TAC clients who have spinal cord injury.
View Return to work - activity planner
Return to work - activity planner
A handy template document for TAC clients who are returning to work to organise their various treatment appointments, exercises and work commitments.
View Travel to work declaration form
Travel to work declaration form
This form is for claiming expenses related to travel (by private car, public transport and/or taxi) to work. (Claims for travel expenses to attend medical treatment and/or rehabilitation need to be made using a separate form titled Travel Expenses: Declaration).
View Return to work: plan form
Return to work: plan form
This form sets out the return to work plan for TAC clients to ensure the process is safe, coordinated and smooth. The plan details the worksite assessment, goals, projected hours and duties for the program's initial phase. The document needs to be completed by the therapist in consultation with the client and employer, then submitted to the TAC at last five days before the program commences.
View Return to work: progress report form
Return to work: progress report form
This form (to be completed by the return to work service provider) updates the TAC on the client's progress towards reaching the goals set out in their return to work plan as well as recommendations to the next phase of the program. The report must be submitted at least five days prior to the client's current plan expiring.
View Return to work: closure report form
Return to work: closure report form
This form is to be completed when a TAC client's return to work program has concluded. The service provider records the reason for the return to work program's closure, e.g. primary goal achieved, client resigned, employer terminated employment.