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Benefits of returning to work

For: Claimants Advocates

Returning to or recovering at work after a work-related injury or illness can have many benefits for your health and wellbeing and help with your recovery.

Work is one of the most effective ways to improve wellbeing.

Being at work helps you to:

  • maintain your connections with the workplace and feel supported
  • return to your pre-injury activities and lifestyle and encourage your recovery by staying active
  • increase your confidence in managing your injury and give you a focus on ability rather than disability
  • minimise your risk of long-term disability, absence from the workplace and can prevent you from developing other health issues
  • support your participation, independence and social inclusion.

It is important to get back to work as soon as it is safe for you to do so. You don’t have to be 100 per cent well to be at work, and good work can help in your recovery.

The longer you are off work, the less likely you are to return to work.

Experience shows that if you are off work for:

  • 20 days—the chance of you getting back to work is 70 per cent
  • 45 days—the chance of you getting back to work is 50 per cent
  • 70 days—the chance of you getting back to work is 35 per cent.

Source: Helping people return to work: Using evidence for better outcomes - A Position Statement, The Royal Australasian College of Physicians and The Australian Faculty of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, 2010, p 14.

More information

For more information on getting back to work, see Steps in the return to work process.

Page last reviewed: 03 February 2022

GPO Box 9905, Canberra, ACT 2601
1300 366 979 |

Date printed 19 May 2024