The University of Melbourne aims to assist employees to remain at work or make a safe and durable return to work based on medical advice, at the earliest opportunity following an injury or illness. The University manages employees' claims for workers' compensation as a licensed workers' compensation self-insurer.
The University manages these issues with reference to the WorkSafe Claims Manual, and endorses Australian and international evidence that supports:
- appropriate work is beneficial for you
- returning to work is part of an injured worker’s rehabilitation
- injured workers don’t need to be 100% fit to return to work
- long term worklessness is bad for health and wellbeing
Lodge a workers' compensation claim
Definitions for claims
An employee is any person who has signed a contract of employment with the University of Melbourne or receives payment for providing a service or performing a task for whom the University deducts income tax and pays a workers' compensation levy. This would normally include all full time, part time and casual staff.
How to make a claim
A compensable injury is any injury or disease that occurs whilst in the course of your employment. Employment must always be a significant contributing factor to the development of your claimed injury or condition.
Make claims for weekly compensation by completing a worker's injury claim form which is available from the compensable Workers' Compensation & Injury Management team or Australia Post. This claim must be accompanied by a WorkSafe Certificate of Capacity which your treating practitioner will provide.
You must send the claim form and medical certificate to the Workers' Compensation & Injury Management team within five days of becoming aware of your condition.
If you are claiming for medical and like expenses only, you do not need to submit a WorkSafe Certificate of Capacity with your claim form.
Once the Workers' Compensation & Injury Management team receives your claim for compensation, you and your department will receive a letter acknowledging receipt of your claim. You may be contacted by phone to discuss any matters that require clarification.
The Workers' Compensation & Injury Management team has 28 days to assess your claim for weekly payments and 28 days for medical and like expenses claims.
During this assessment period:
- you may be requested in writing to attend a medical practitioner who is a specialist in dealing with the particular injury at hand. If there are any difficulties in attending the required medical examination, you must contact the Injury Management team immediately so a further date can be arranged. If you fail to attend the medical examination, your entitlement to compensation may be suspended. An interpreter can also be arranged, if required.
- you may also be consulted by an insurance loss assessor to discuss the circumstances which surround your claim.
If your claim for compensation is accepted, you will receive a letter advising you of what your workers' compensation entitlements are. If it is not accepted, you will receive a letter advising you on the grounds which your claim was rejected on and what your appeal rights are.
Accident make up pay
Make up pay is the difference between payments determined by Victorian workers' compensation legislation and the employee's usual salary. Read the salaries, loadings and benefits procedure (MPF1170): accident make-up pay for more information.
Occupational rehabilitation and return to work
The University will assist injured employees to remain at work or return to work at the earliest opportunity following an injury or illness.
A return to work coordinator from the Injury Management team, the employee, the employee's supervisor and any treating practitioners, will work together to prepare a detailed return to work plan conforming to WorkSafe Victoria guidelines.
Treatment and rehabilitation for injuries
Rehabilitation could include a multi-disciplinary range of skills in addition to the medical management of an injury, such as physiotherapy, occupational therapy, psychology, ergonomics and counselling. Rehabilitation commences at the earliest possible notification of injury and continues until the employee is as fully rehabilitated as possible.
External rehabilitation providers may be engaged to assist with rehabilitation. Where appropriate, the employee will be able to choose between three Worksafe-approved providers. Should they wish to nominate your own rehabilitation provider, the employee should contact their return to work coordinator to discuss approval requirements for this provider.
Suitable employment duties
Suitable employment, including modified or alternate duties, consistent with medical opinion, will be sought for all employees at the earliest opportunity. Suitable duties means work that suits the nature of the employee's injury and current work capacity. Suitable duties will initially be sought with the original department and if this is not possible, other departments can be considered.
Responsibilities of employees and supervisors/managers
Responsibilities in the return to work process
Supervisors and Managers will:
- assist the return to work coordinator in developing and implementing an appropriate safe and meaningful return to work program
- provide regular feedback to the return to work coordinator on progress and any problems
- discuss progress with the injured employee and the return to work coordinator
- provide support and assistance when the injured employee returns to work
- take action, where appropriate, to prevent recurrence of injury. Such actions may include reasonable modifications to the workplace.
Employees undergoing rehabilitation are required to:
- cooperate in their rehabilitation program, the agreed primary goal being return to work. Failure to co-operate could jeopardise their entitlement to compensation
- attend intermittent medical examinations by WorkSafe medical experts as nominated by the Workers' Compensation & Injury Management Team
For assistance or further information, please contact your local Case Manager or Return to Work Coordinator.