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Case management

Effective case management revolves around timely support, proactive communication and good coordination of relevant parties to achieve return to work outcomes.

The Safety Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 1988 (SRC Act) provides for the rehabilitation of Commonwealth employees following a work-related injury. The legislation is designed to make sure the employer (as the rehabilitation authority) is responsible and accountable for the safe and early return of their injured employee.

The employer—through the delegated case manager—is best placed to monitor incidents or absences, intervene early, create opportunities for suitable duties and make sure the employee is appropriately and actively managed to the best possible outcome following a work related injury.

The case manager's role is critical in reducing the impact of injury in the workplace. The section 41 guidelines state that, if the rehabilitation authority has delegated any of its functions under Part III of the SRC Act to an officer or person, it should ensure that the officer or person: ‘has the appropriate skills and capabilities to perform those powers and function’ and ‘is supported with appropriate resources and training for the performance of those powers and functions’.

The functions of a case manager fall broadly into two areas:

  • operational—providing assistance to individual injured employees
  • strategic—managing broader issues of return to work in the organisation.

An effective case manager not only coordinates the RTW process, but also actively manages it. They must effectively manage workplace relationships and their own personal work priorities and continuing development. The competencies reflect operational, strategic and management skills.

Guidance for case managers

To help rehabilitation authorities meet Comcare’s requirements, in consultation with agencies, we have developed guidance material on core capabilities for case managers.

The guidance aim to:

  • make sure case managers are capable of performing their role and function
  • support HR managers in the selection and ongoing skill development of case managers
  • maximise the opportunity for the best possible outcomes for injured employees
  • guide the content for the Comcare case management training
  • provide a useful framework for employers on the skills and experience case managers need.
Page last updated: 15 Aug 2019