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Graded return to work

There are a number of reasons a graded return to work might be considered the best option for an injured employee:

  • Allows an injured employee to return to work on reduced hours or duties when they are unable to return to their full pre-injury hours or duties initially.
  • Allows an injured employee to return to work safely and earlier than would otherwise be possible.
  • Builds the injured employee’s physical and/or psychological ability to manage tasks. This form of rehabilitation is referred to as work hardening or work conditioning.
  • Helps the employee maintain their work habits such as getting up to attend work, interacting with co-workers, and keeping pace with changes and developments in the workplace.

A graded return to work program should include:

  • Clearly defined goals and objectives.
  • A well-structured and documented program outlining the specific duties and hours of work, and how and when it is proposed these should be upgraded.
  • Exercise and rest breaks should be part of any program developed.
  • The roles and responsibilities of all the parties involved in the program should be clearly set out and described.
Page last updated: 08 May 2014