The Department of Education (the Department) is committed to providing assistance to injured or ill employees to facilitate their return to work. Work can be an effective means of reducing the psychological and physical effects of injury (such as reduced self-esteem and confidence, physical de-conditioning and social isolation) as it maintains the injured employee’s contribution to productivity and keeps him or her in touch with the workplace.
All employees of the Department and casual staff who are injured in the course of work may apply to receive workers’ compensation benefits for a compensable injury.
1.2 Role of principals and line managers
Upon knowledge of an employee being injured or ill at work, principals and line managers should:
- provide first aid, if required;
- advise the employee to seek medical assistance, if required;
- provide the employee with a Workers’ Compensation Claim Form and a Form 5A Witness Statement, if they wish to claim compensation;
- complete an Employer Report Form;
- on receipt of the first medical certificate, note the information regarding work capacity and forward with the claim and Employer Report Form to ESB.Admin@education.wa.edu.au within three working days upon their lodgement;
- confirm that the relevant workers’ compensation forms are completed and stored so that confidentiality is maintained; and
- keep records of all accident/incident matters that may become the subject of a complaint, grievance or future dispute.
If the line manager or principal does not agree with the circumstances of the workers’ compensation claim made by the employee, they should not sign the Employer Report Form but attach a statement outlining their concerns.
If the medical certificate indicates that an employee will be absent from work, the line manager or principal should place them on sick leave. If the employee’s sick leave is exhausted, the line manager or principal should check with the employee if they wish to utilise other leave credits until liability for the claim is determined.
All forms required during the workers’ compensation and injury management process are available for download at the Employee Support Bureau website (staff only).
Appendix A contains the Workers’ Compensation Claim process flowchart for consultation.
Any query regarding the workers’ compensation process should be discussed with the relevant Workers’ Compensation Officer (staff only).
Further information on record management is available on the Department’s Policies website.
1.3 Injury management process
The key parties in the injury management process are the injured employee, the employer and the treating medical practitioner. The injury management process may also involve RiskCover, a workplace rehabilitation provider and the union representative.
The principal or line manager is responsible for supporting an injured employee’s return to work. The return to work program template can be downloaded from the Employee Support Bureau website (staff only). Assistance with this process can be provided by the relevant Injury management Consultant (staff only)
Return to work programs must be in writing and have the signature of the injured employee and the principal or line manager indicating that they agree with the details and goal of the program.
Principals and line managers should support an injured employee’s return to work by:
- providing the opportunity for injured employees to be involved in all decisions regarding their injury management and their workplace rehabilitation program;
- developing a written return to work program when an employee is fit to return to work but only on restricted duties or hours:
- in consultation with the injured employee;
- in consultation with injury management or rehabilitation consultants, where required; and
- based on the employee’s restrictions in the medical certificate or advice from the treating medical practitioner;
- identifying possible productive and meaningful alternative duties or make modifications to original duties for consideration by the medical practitioner;
- providing suitable equipment to enable the employee to safely complete their duties;
- confidentially storing all relevant documents, such as copies of medical certificates; and
- where a workplace rehabilitation provider has not been engaged, sending a copy of the return to work program to the Employee Support Bureau.
The Department of Education follows the WorkCover WA’s injury management model. Refer to Appendix B for a flowchart of the injury management process.
When deemed necessary to optimise the return to work outcome, the Department’s Injury Management Consultant will refer the injured employee, with the approval of the medical practitioner, to an accredited workplace rehabilitation provider. The injured employee will be advised by the Department’s Injury Management Consultant of his or her right to select a workplace rehabilitation provider.
The privacy of the injured employee should be respected. No information regarding the injured employee’s injury or rehabilitation status is to be communicated without the permission of the employee.
All relevant documentation, such as copies of medical certificates, are stored so that confidentiality is maintained.
1.4 Role of injured employee
Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act 1984, all employees have an obligation to report hazards and all incidents / accidents to their principal or line manager.
An injured employee should:
- seek medical attention if required; and
- provide a medical certificate to principal or line manager where applicable.
If workers’ compensation is being sought, the injured employee should:
- complete a Workers’ Compensation Claim Form;
- obtain a completed Witness Statement Forms from any witnesses to the accident or provide a brief statement of events if there are no witnesses;
- obtain a Workers’ Compensation First Medical Certificate from a medical practitioner;
- return completed forms with the first medical certificate to their line manager or principal;
- attend medical reviews and appointments with rehabilitation providers if required and obtain a progress medical certificate after each subsequent medical review;
- provide all subsequent workers’ compensation medical certificates to their line manager or principal; and
- participate in injury management and return to work programs.
If the injured employee does not agree with their return to work program, they should first discuss the issue with their principal or line manager. If the issue cannot be resolved, contact the Injury Management Consultants (staff only) for your area.
Under the Workers’ Compensation and Injury Management Act 1981, employees on weekly workers’ compensation payments must notify the Department or the Department’s insurer (RiskCover) in writing of their commencement of work with another employer.
An employee who has been transferred from the school where the injury occurred, or is no longer at a school, forwards their medical certificate(s) directly to the Workers’ Compensation Unit (staff only) or hands it to their current school principal or line manager for forwarding.
Further information and advice on return to work programs is available from the Employee Support Bureau website (staff only) or WorkCover online or by phoning 1300 794 744.
1.5 Related documents
Relevant legislation or authority
Related Department policies