Human Resources Division

Workers' compensation and rehabilitation

This section contains obligations for all managers and staff.

The Accident Compensation Act 1958 (Vic) provides for compensation for injured workers and places obligations on both employers and employees. The Act and the compensation scheme (known as WorkCover) are administered by the Victorian WorkCover Authority (WorkSafe). The University’s WorkCover insurer is CGU.

The Manager, OHS attends to most of the University’s obligations under the Act.  However, some matters, such as injury reporting and rehabilitation, involve the managers of injured staff members in particular.

The WorkSafe "If You Are Injured" poster, which is displayed at various locations in the University, explains the process of making a claim. A summary of the process is provided under WorkCover claims.

Independent contractors and their employees are not directly covered by the University’s WorkCover insurance. However the University would be potentially liable where contractors are not insured either through their omission or because they are sole traders that cannot be insured. In addition where the University has not adequately managed the safety of insured contractors, the WorkCover Authority may seek to recover their costs from the University.

WorkCover claims

Reporting an injury is essential as there are timeframes under the Act relating to claims.  Refer to 'Injuries and incidents' section of this manual for information about how to report a work-related injury at the University.

To make a claim for compensation under the Act, an injured staff member must lodge a completed WorkCover claim form. Unless there are unusual circumstances, the claim form must be lodged with the University through HR Services. Forms are available from HR Services or WorkSafe.  Assistance in completing the form can be sought from the University's Return to Work Coordinators

For payment or refund of medical costs, the staff member must provide accounts and receipts. If lost time is involved in the claim, the claimant is responsible for providing an appropriate WorkCover Certificate of Capacity for any absence from work and any return to work or change in work hours. The staff member must sign the Certificate and have their signature witnessed. Further details are given in the University's Worker's Compensation Standard.

When HR Services receives a claim, they will pass the claim onto the WorkCover insurer and discuss with the staff member’s manager the circumstances of the injury or illness and rehabilitation of the injured staff member.

When a manager is advised of a claim, he or she must complete a Manager Accident Analysis Report (83 KB) within two working days, if one has not already been completed upon reporting of the injury.

Managers must also advise their HR Services contact when they become aware of a potential WorkCover claim, such as:

  • an absence from work over two weeks where workplace factors may be involved (stress, workplace bullying, overuse injury)
  • poor morale or workplace complaints that involve safety concerns
  • workplace conflict that may lead to bullying or stress related claims
  • work or potentially work related conditions that fail to resolve themselves over a month (for example, persistent back pain, repetitive strain injuries).

back to top

WorkCover entitlements

The University’s WorkCover insurer will determine whether the University accepts liability for a WorkCover claim.

Where liability is accepted, medical and related expenses and compensation for time lost will be covered under WorkCover. However, where a provider such as a doctor charges the claimant more than the standard WorkCover fee, the gap will not be covered.

Further information about the claims process and WorkCover entitlements can be found in the University's Workers Compensation Standard and on the WorkSafe website.

In the case of a prolonged absence from work, the claimant may be able to access temporary or permanent disability benefits under superannuation.

Occupational Rehabilitation Program

The University’s policy is to provide injured staff members with rehabilitation enabling them to return to suitable duties as soon as possible, consistent with medical advice.

The rehabilitation and return to work process can be used in other non-WorkCover situations such as staff returning to work after a long illness.

The details of the University's Occupational Rehabilitation Program is set out in the University's Return to Work standard (54 KB). The Standard sets out how the University proceeds, and also the staff member's obligations.

A return-to-work plan is established for an injured worker by one of the University's Return to Work Coordinators

A Return to Work Coordinator may:

  • contact the injured staff member as soon as possible
  • liaise with those involved in the treatment of the injured staff member
  • prepare a return-to-work plan:
    • as soon as possible but no later than 10 days after the acceptance of a claim by the WorkCover insurer 
    • with the aim of assisting the injured staff member to remain at work during his or her recovery, or to return to suitable work as soon as possible after injury
  • develop the plan in consultation with the injured staff member, the injured staff member’s manager (usually) and where practical, his or her treating practitioner and any rehabilitation provider involved
  • where appropriate, refer the injured staff member after consultation with the staff member about choice of provider, to an approved occupational rehabilitation provider
  • monitor progress made against the return-to-work plan
  • regularly review the return-to-work plan with the injured staff member
  • restrict the sharing of information about the injury, its treatment or the return-to-work plan as much as possible and secure all records.

Further information on the rehabilitation and return to work process can be obtained by viewing a series of short videos prepared by WorkSafe Victoria for injured staff and employers.

back to top

Deakin University acknowledges the traditional land owners of present campus sites.

15th July 2011