New campaign to reduce workers’ compensation stigma

Safe Work Australia has launched a new awareness campaign about stigma associated with workers’ compensation and what can be done to reduce it. 

Research found that 1 in 3 workers thought they would be treated differently by people at work if they knew about their injury or illness, and 1 in 5 workers were worried about stigma associated with being on workers’ compensation*.

Workers’ compensation stigma can prevent injured or ill workers from making a workers’ compensation claim and it can also impact their recovery. It has negative impacts for the worker’s team, and the organisation more broadly, lowering morale and productivity.

Developed in collaboration with Safe Work Australia Members, the new resources provide practical information for employers, supervisors, and workers about workers’ compensation and what can be done to reduce stigma around it. 

To find out more about the campaign and download the resources, go to:

Quotes attributable to Safe Work Australia Chief Executive Officer, Michelle Baxter:

“Workers’ compensation provides an important safety net to support people who become ill or injured because of work. It provides financial support and other assistance so workers can focus on getting back to work safely.

“One of the most important factors contributing to a worker’s recovery and safe return to work is whether they have a supportive and inclusive work environment.

“This campaign will build awareness of workers’ compensation stigma and provide practical resources to help employers, supervisors and workers to understand what they can do to reduce it.

“Everyone can play a role to create a workplace where injured or ill workers are supported and protected from experiencing workers’ compensation stigma.”

Quotes attributable to Safe Work Australia Chair, Joanne Farrell:

“Supporting ill or injured workers to get back to work safely benefits everyone – the worker, their team and the broader organisation. 

“By understanding what workers’ compensation stigma is, where it can occur, and how to identify it, we can take action to reduce it.”


Safe Work Australia develops national policy and strategy for workers’ compensation.

The workers’ compensation stigma campaign has been created in collaboration with Safe Work Australia Members. It is an initiative under the National Return to Work Strategy 2020–2030, which drives action to improve return to work outcomes for ill and injured workers. 

Safe Work Australia does not administer workers’ compensation schemes or manage workers’ compensation claims. This is the responsibility of the Commonwealth, states and territories who manage their own workers’ compensation arrangements.

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*Source: National Return to Work Survey 2021 and Research into Australian workers’ understanding of workers’ compensation systems and their communication preferences.