The National Return to Work Strategy 2020 – 2030 (the Strategy) drives national action to improve return to work outcomes for workers with a work-related injury or illness.
Workers are at the heart of the Strategy’s vision to minimise the impact of work-related injury and illness, and enable a timely, safe and durable return to work.
A positive return to work is multi-faceted. It involves a range of stakeholders working together to support the worker through their recovery and return to work.
You can take action now. The Strategy is an evidence-based framework that offers everyone in the return to work process the opportunity to reflect on their own policies and practices.
As part of the first phase of national initiatives under the National Return to Work Strategy 2020-2030 (the Strategy) Safe Work Australia commissioned two independent research reports from Griffith University:
- Psychological response to injury: Research to support workers’ psychological responses to injury and successful return to work, and
- Stigma towards injured or ill workers: Research on the causes and impact of workplace stigma in the workplace, and approaches to creating positive workplace cultures that support return to work.
The reports provide an evidence base and recommendations on how to meaningfully support workers in their recovery and return to work through building positive workplace cultures and minimising the adverse impacts of stigma and other psychological responses to injury on workers.
The key achievements and scorecard report captures baseline national measures based on the Measurement Framework as we strive towards achieving the National Return to Work Strategy 2020-2030 vision and outcomes over the 10 years.
We’re excited to release a suite of short animations that summarise the Strategy and its five Action Areas. We’ve also started work on the first national research initiatives under the Strategy and released the Measurement Framework that outlines how we will measure the success of the Strategy. See below for all the details.
Watch our short animations on the five Action Areas .
- Supporting workers
- Building positive workplace culture and leadership
- Supporting employers
- Supporting other stakeholders
- Building and translating evidence
Supporting workers to have a timely, safe and durable return to work is a national priority for Safe Work Australia.
The first tranche of national initiatives under the Strategy have been agreed by Safe Work Australia Members. These early initiatives focus on workers, workplaces and employers, addressing evidence gaps and building knowledge to inform future national action.
Research on workers’ understanding of workers’ compensation, return to work, health literacy and their communication preferences
- To provide insights into effective ways to improve workers’ understanding and access to the right information, at the right time, through the right channels.
Research to support workers’ psychological responses to injury and their associated return to work
- To provide a deeper understanding of psychological responses workers may experience that could influence their recovery and return to work, and identify opportunities to better support workers.
Research on the causes and impact of stigma in workplaces, and approaches to creating positive workplace culture that support return to work
- To build on existing work around how stigma and workplace culture can influence return to work outcomes, and identify opportunities to apply best practice to the workplace.
Scope a national employer survey to capture data and gain insights into employer capability, capacity and experiences in return to work
- To address a critical evidence gap to capture the employer’s perspective, complementing the worker’s perspective gained through Safe Work Australia’s biennial National Return to Work Survey.
The Measurement Framework outlines the approach to measuring progress towards the three national strategic outcomes in the Strategy:
Measuring return to work is complex, with many factors influencing return to work outcomes. The Measurement Framework is based on existing national measures and available data and will be reviewed as new or improved data and measures become available.