Do you know how to effectively manage and communicate with employees that are on workers compensation? Do you know the status of all the employees on workers compensation claims that you are responsible for? Have you completed and lodged the initial and follow up paperwork accurately? If you have answered ‘no’ or ‘maybe’ to any of these questions, you need to read this article.
The most common issue we encounter in this area is the mismanagement of employees that are out of action and undertaking workers compensation. We have encountered many situations where employees have been sitting at home for more than three months that could have been back at work in a ‘return to work’ capacity. However, no one had been adequately managing communications with these employees.
Compensation claims are a timely and tiring effort, with ongoing and difficult communicative efforts between all involved parties. It is not uncommon to be advised of new employee requirements, only to have these rejected by the return-to-work coordinator. This rejection only demanding further professional review, negotiation, and correspondence to be initiated by the employer.
Regardless of a broken finger, broken leg or mental illness, the level of paperwork and management is almost a full-time role. We understand that having a role specific to this task is not at all viable for many small businesses, which is why we encourage you to consider third-party assistance to relieve this enormous and time-consuming pressure.
If you are managing claims yourself, contact with employees should be regular as is required for insurance purposes. Employers need to approach this cautiously in consideration of psychosocial injury and the potential of this developing whilst employees are recovering from a physical injury claim. An employer’s intent may be innocent, but communicative efforts can cause employees additional stress and therefore psychosocial harm. To avoid this, we suggest making contact points casual and generalised such as, ‘just touching base’ or ‘how are you going?’
We know that many of our readers are first time small business owners and that encountering your first workers compensation claim will be a headache. It is a difficult system to navigate amongst the already complex task of running the daily operations of a business. We want you to know that there are services out there to help guide you, such as AHR. If this resonates, call us on 1800 577 515 for a free consultation, as sometimes a chat is all you need to be refocused in the right direction.
As you can identify, much time and effort can go into the management of one compensation claim, let alone several and of differing natures. Essentially, if we don’t manage it, you must!