Deakin is committed to providing and maintaining a safe and healthy working environment for its staff, students and visitors. This includes assisting staff and managers in the administering of WorkCover claims, rehabilitation and return to work of injured staff.
In the event that you are injured at work, and it is established and accepted as a work-related injury, the Workplace Injury Rehabilitation Compensation Act 2013 (the WIRC Act, previously the Accident Compensation Act 1985) provides for compensation for injured staff. The Act places obligations on both employers and employees.
The Act and the compensation scheme (known as WorkCover) are administered by the Victorian WorkCover Authority (WorkSafe). Deakin's WorkCover insurer is CGU.
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. 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 and entitlements
Reporting an injury is essential as there are timeframes under the Act. You must notify your manager and the Health, Wellbeing and Safety Team within 30 days of sustaining an injury at work. Notification is required through an incident report. Refer to the Injuries and incidents section of the manual for information about reporting the injury. The WorkSafe "If you are injured at work" poster explains the process of making a claim and is displayed in most work areas.
To lodge a WorkCover claim you must complete a WorkCover claim form. Unless there are unusual circumstances, the form must be lodged with Deakin's Return to Work Coordinators (PDF, 89.6 KB) . Assistance with completing the form can be sought from your Return to Work Coordinator or from WorkSafe.
Once your claim is lodged, we will discuss with your manager the injury and rehabilitation. We will forward the claim onto CGU (within 10 days of receiving a valid claim) who will then have 28 days (for time lost claims) to determine whether Deakin accepts liability for the claim.
Where liability is accepted, Deakin will cover the first 10 days of lost time and reasonable medical and like expenses up to the employer threshold in relation to the claim. Lost time and expenses above these thresholds are covered by the Insurer. However, where a provider such as a doctor charges the claimant more than the standard WorkCover fee, the gap will not be covered.
For payment or refund of medical costs, you must provide accounts and receipts. If lost time is involved in the claim, you must provide a valid WorkCover Certificate of Capacity (medical certificate) for any absence from work and any return to work or change in work hours. You must sign the Certificate and have your signature witnessed.
Managers must inform the respective Return to Work Coordinator immediately. They must also complete a Manager Accident Analysis Report (83 KB) (DOC, 82.5 KB) within two working days, if one has not already been completed upon reporting of the injury.
Managers must also advise their Return to Work Coordinator (PDF, 89.6 KB) 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).
In the case of a prolonged absence from work, you may be able to access temporary or permanent disability benefits under superannuation.
Rehabilitation and Return to Work
In the event that you are injured at work, we are committed to providing you with rehabilitation support enabling you to return to suitable duties as soon as possible (consistent with medical advice).
In facilitating this process, a return-to-work plan is established for injured staff by one of the Return to Work Coordinators (PDF, 165.2 KB) . In some cases, an external rehabilitation provider may be engaged to assist in the rehabilitation process. Deakin's Occupational Rehabilitation Program is set out in the Return to Work Standard (PDF, 165.2 KB) .
The rehabilitation and return to work process can also be used in other non-WorkCover situations such as staff returning to work after a long illness or claims lodged through the Transport Accident Commission (TAC) Claims. Please contact your Return to Work Coordinator for more information.
Further information can be obtained from WorkSafe: Returning to work - A guide for injured workers.