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Safe Work Australia’s national return to work survey project

For: Claimants Employers and managers Service providers Advocates Information seekers

The National Return to Work Survey aims to monitor and better understand Australian injured employees’ experiences of being on workers’ compensation, their health status, time off work, return to work, and the support and rehabilitation they received.


Project update

The most recent survey was conducted in 2021 with 619 participants from across the Comcare scheme.

The Comcare scheme’s headline results:

  • 96% of injured workers report returning to work at some point since their injury – 4 points higher than the national average
  • 70% report being back at work for at least three months – up from 62% in 2018
  • 72% of injured workers report that their service expectations were met or exceeded.

Project overview

The National Return to Work Survey aims to monitor and better understand Australian injured employees’ experiences of being on workers’ compensation, their health status, time off work, return to work, and the support and rehabilitation they received.

The survey involves interviewing employees from premium paying government agencies and self-insured licensees within the Comcare scheme.

The results from the survey are used to inform our rehabilitation and return to work strategies, and to measure progress against our strategic priorities.

Project participants

Project lead

  • Safe Work Australia

Other organisations involved

  • State and territory workers’ compensation schemes
  • The Social Research Centre (external provider)

Findings and reports

Resources


Why this research is important

This research project is part of our Research Plan Towards 2022 and supports our purpose to foster work participation and recovery.

Finding ways to help injured and ill employees return to work as soon as it is safe to do so, has benefits for both the employee and the employer.

We know good work supports people’s mental and physical health and wellbeing.

We also know that being off work for extended periods can have serious long-term effects including isolation and depression. Experience shows that the longer someone is off work, the less likely they are to return to work.


More information

For more information on this research project, contact research@comcare.gov.au.

Page last reviewed: 20 May 2022
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Comcare
GPO Box 9905, Canberra, ACT 2601
1300 366 979 | www.comcare.gov.au

Date printed 26 Jun 2022

https://www.comcare.gov.au/safe-healthy-work/research-evidence/research-projects/return-to-work-survey-research-project