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Return to Work Pilot: EML Your Future program

Project outcomes

The pilot has concluded and was independently evaluated. The findings and report are now available.

The evaluation found strong and statistically significant evidence that the Your Future program had a positive effect on Return to Work (RTW) outcomes of participants in the Comcare scheme.

The proportion of participants who achieved a RTW outcome within six months of program commencement was 247% more than that of non-participants, which indicated program attendance had a strong effect on RTW outcomes.

As a result, Comcare has established an ongoing service offering through EML to 30 June 2024 at this stage.

About the new service

The service focused on employee job readiness, career coaching, recovery and return to 'good work', or to help with career development. It involved (not an exhaustive list):

  • employment support services (e.g. training modules)
  • assistance with career planning and placement transition.
  • career coaching
  • job matching and support
  • in-depth job canvassing

Project overview

EML approached Comcare in 2019 with an evidence-based program titled ‘Your Future’. The Your Future model aims to change the employment outlook for long-term injured workers by providing customised and individualised support for participants.

Employment specialists (brokers and coaches) work with injured employees to provide in-depth job canvassing, matching and support complemented by career coaching and planning and, for those with more complex needs, a supporting case management function.

Pilot overview

The pilot ran between November 2021 and October 2022, targeting injured employees who had been unsuccessful with returning to work with their pre-injury employer using the traditional rehabilitation framework.

The pilot achieved a number of positive results, including 37 registrations out of 126 invitations, with 34 workers completing a program (program options included a 26-week full, or 6-8 week fast-track program).

In total, 27 employees completed the full program, six employees completed the fast-track program, and one employee who joined in July 2022, undertook a bespoke mid-length program for 18 weeks.

The average age of workers invited to participate was 50 years and about 60% were females. Some 85% of participants had a psychological injury and the average time since injury for all participants was 4.1 years.

In total, 29 participants and 60 non-participants were included in the pilot evaluation process, after excluding employees who were either partially or fully at work on commencement. 11 participants, and seven non-participants achieved return-to-work outcomes within six months of program commencement.

Of those who achieved a RTW outcome, 10 participants and six non-participants achieved durable RTW outcomes. This means 37.9% of participants achieved a RTW outcome within six months compared to 11.7% for non-participants.

Project participants

  • Comcare
  • EML

Other organisations involved

  • Taylor Fry – pilot evaluation
  • Monash University – pilot evaluation

Findings and reports

Further resources

Return to Work Brokerage Fact Sheet

Page last reviewed: 19 April 2024

Comcare
GPO Box 9905, Canberra, ACT 2601
1300 366 979 | www.comcare.gov.au

Date printed 18 Jul 2024

https://www.comcare.gov.au/safe-healthy-work/research-evidence/research-projects/return-to-work-pilot-eml-your-future-program