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Everything a Return to Work Coordinator Should Consider

Picture a bustling workplace where the unexpected happens—an employee gets injured. Immediate concern and a rush of questions about the future arise. How will this affect the team's productivity? What about the injured employee's wellbeing and livelihood? At this moment, the expertise of a Return-to-Work (RTW) Coordinator becomes indispensable. 

Altius Group understands that the journey back to work is not just about physical recovery; it's about restoring confidence, ensuring security, and minimising disruption. The RTW Coordinator plays a significant role in strategically bridging the gap between human needs and business continuity. Recognising the complexities this role entails, many organisations are now partnering with Altius Group to outsource RTW coordination, allowing them to tackle specialised skills that turn challenges into opportunities for growth and resilience.

Bridging Gaps: Challenges in Return-to-Work Coordination

The role of a return-to-work (RTW) coordinator is complex and challenging, involving various aspects such as:

1. State and Territory Legislation  

Coordinators need to understand and follow the different compensation laws across states and territories, ensuring claims are handled correctly and timely. 

2. Multiple Stakeholder Interests  

Coordinators need to communicate and negotiate effectively with various stakeholders, including employees, employers, healthcare providers, and insurers, who may have different goals and perspectives. 

3. Individualised Return-to-Work Plans 

Coordinators need to design a return-to-work plan that suits the specific recovery needs and timeline of each employee, requiring careful planning and flexibility. 

4. Legal and Medical Knowledge  

Coordinators need to keep up-to-date with the latest legal rulings and medical guidelines to provide accurate advice and support a lawful and effective return to work. 

5. Mental and Emotional Wellbeing  

Coordinators need to consider the psychosocial factors that affect the injured workers, requiring a compassionate and holistic approach. 

6. Privacy and Confidentiality  

Coordinators need to protect the privacy of the injured worker while maintaining open communication with relevant parties, requiring a delicate balancing act. 

7. Monitoring and Reporting  

Coordinators need to document the return-to-work process thoroughly, including communication and adjustments, for transparency and future reference. 

The Role and Responsibilities of a Return-to-Work Coordinator

A Return-to-Work Coordinator is a key person who connects injured workers, health professionals, employers, and other stakeholders involved in the return-to-work process. They do more than just paperwork; they have a deep knowledge of how to engage and coordinate with different stakeholders. Some of their main tasks, as seen through Altius Group's services, are:  

  • WHS/OHS Incident Management
  • Injury Management Response  
  • Claims Notification and Management  
  • Recovery and Return-to-Work Planning  
  • Stakeholder Engagement and Coordination

Effective RTW Coordinators are good at communicating and organising, and can guide complex processes to ensure a safe, healthy, and effective return-to-work for injured workers. 

WHS/OHS Incident Management

Altius Group has a team of allied health experts who are trained in Work Health and Safety (WHS) or Occupational Health and Safety (OHS). They can conduct thorough incident investigation and root cause analysis, and provide prompt and compassionate support to workers who have been injured at work. They also have the skills and knowledge to handle the legal and administrative aspects of workplace incidents, ensuring compliance and accuracy.

Altius Group's injury management consultants work with insurers, design recovery plans based on evidence, and stay in touch with the injured worker. This approach saves organisations time and reduces claim time loss.

Injury Management Response

Altius Group helps organisations integrate an effective injury management response system, ensuring a smooth, timely, and compassionate return to work for employees. Altius’ team works with insurers, employers, workers, and medical professionals across Australia to resolve even the most challenging cases. With Altius Group, employees have direct access to health professionals, who guide them through strategies to overcome physical and psychological barriers and accelerate their recovery.

Claims Notification and Management

Altius Group's RTW coordinators are meticulous in fulfilling state and scheme-specific protocols for injury reporting. On your behalf, they handle every aspect of claim lodgement and paperwork, ensuring employees feel supported and stakeholders are expertly managed, which allows employers to focus on core business operations without interruption. Altius’ strategies are designed to alleviate the administrative burdens of claims management, optimise workers' compensation premiums, and enhance overall safety.

Recovery and Return-to-Work Planning

Altius Group's recovery and return-to-work planning is dynamic and proactive, drawing on our industry knowledge, legislative compliance, and creative solutions. We design precise plans that follow best practices and stakeholder feedback, while achieving cost-effective outcomes. Our thorough and clear planning helps businesses of all sizes by taking care of their injury management needs.

Stakeholder Engagement and Coordination

Returning to work after an injury can be a complex and challenging process that involves various physical, psychological, social, financial, and legal aspects. Altius Group offers expert RTW Coordinators who provide Stakeholder engagement and coordination services. They listen to the perspectives and needs of employers, insurers, brokers, and workers, and ensure that the return-to-work plan complies with the insurer's guidelines and regulations. By facilitating effective communication and collaboration among the stakeholders, they help to accelerate the recovery and minimise the administrative hassle for the employers.

Benefits of Outsourcing a Return-to-Work Program for Workplace Injury

Outsourcing RTW Coordination is a strategic move that offers many advantages for injured employees, workplace stakeholders, and everyone in between. Some of these include:

1. Access to Specialised Expertise

Outsourcing connects injured people with professionals who have a deep understanding of RTW best practices and legislative requirements, ensuring expert navigation through complex processes.

2. Ensured Compliance & Risk Mitigation 

With expert coordinators handling RTW processes, the organisation is better positioned to meet legal obligations, identify potential risks, and avoid costly penalties.

3. Resource Optimisation: Freeing up internal resources allows staff members at the organisation to focus on core business functions, increasing productivity and efficiency.

4. Cost Savings: Outsourcing can be more cost-effective than maintaining an in-house team, saving on recruitment, training, and employment costs.

5. Improved Employee Experience: External experts can often provide a more objective and focused approach to employee care, leading to a more positive recovery and RTW experience for the employee.

6. Streamlined Communication: RTW Coordinators serve as a single point of contact for all parties involved, streamlining communication and making the process more transparent.

7. Continuous Improvement & Data-Driven Insights: External RTW providers often bring innovative practices and continual improvements to the RTW process. They use their expertise to track progress and outcomes, providing valuable insights for decision-making and future planning.

From Plan to Practice: Executing Effective Return-to-Work Strategies

To successfully execute RTW strategies, organisations need to focus on early intervention, clear communication, and tailored recovery plans. These proactive measures ensure that return-to-work procedures provide comprehensive and compassionate support to employees, building a culture of trust and care within the workplace.

Reassess your approach to return-to-work coordination with Altius Group's expert services. For a comprehensive solution that elevates your workplace's health and productivity, reach out online or call 1800 258 487 to inquire further. 

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