New snapshot of workers’ experiences returning to work during COVID-19

Safe Work Australia has published a new snapshot exploring the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on workers returning to work after an injury or illness.

The snapshot provides valuable insights for workers’ compensation authorities and other key stakeholders about what it was like for workers making a return to work during the pandemic.

Download the Returning to work during COVID-19 snapshot.

Key findings

  • 1 in 5 injured or ill workers said the COVID-19 pandemic had an impact on their return to work and recovery.
  • Workers suffering from a psychological injury and those experiencing distress were more likely to report that the COVID-19 pandemic had impacted their recovery and return to work.
  • Limited access to social and family support was the most frequently reported adverse effect of the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Injured workers under the age of 25 were the most likely to respond they had been stood down or had their hours reduced during the COVID-19 pandemic. 
  • More than 20% of workers surveyed responded that the COVID-19 pandemic had positively influenced their recovery and return to work.

The snapshot is based on findings from the 2021 National Return to Work Survey summary report, which is a key data source guiding the delivery of the National Return to Work Strategy 2020-2030.

Find out more about how Safe Work Australia measures return to work outcomes.