Keeping in touch when a work cover claim occurs

By Sarah Cornell, GippsDairy

When a Work Cover claim occurs, there may be feelings of resentment between the parties or concern about admitting liability or “saying the wrong thing”. However research has shown that there are better outcomes when employers keep in touch with employees who are away from work on Work Cover. The earlier the lines of communication are opened, the better.

If, as an employer, you are concerned about “saying the wrong thing”, Work Safe has some tips on how to start a conversation with employees.

Some of these tips include asking:

  • “I want to touch base and see how you are going?”
    “I would like to support you but I am unsure what is helpful, what do you think would be helpful?”

Work Safe suggests having calendar reminders set up to check in with your employee on a regular basis. If there are activities happening at work, invite the person on work cover as they are still an employee and it will help them to feel included in the workforce. Alternatively, if your employee does not wish to maintain contact during their work cover process, let the insurer know that this is the case and if the employee changes their mind, you are happy to resume contact with the employee.

Many employers are also unaware that they are able to contact the work cover case manager at their insurer to discuss the progress of the claim and talk to the insurer about any concerns they have. Regardless of the circumstances of the claim, maintaining an objective relationship with the case manager and employee will make for much better circumstances in dealing with the claim.

Likewise, when and if a Return to Work or Rehabilitation consultant is appointed to the case, it’s important to have an open and honest conversation with them about the duties which can and cannot be adapted in the workplace. Some employers feel that they are forced into alternative duties requested by the consultant which creates anger and resentment between all parties. Speak to the consultant about the effects of the alternative duties on the workplace and listen with an open mind to their response. Talk to them until you can find a resolution.

There are numerous benefits in trying to get your employee safely back to work. These include:

  • Retaining the skills and knowledge of the employee and not having to go through the recruitment process again.
  • Building morale in the workplace to show that all employees are valued.
  • Maintaining a good business reputation in providing safe return to work duties.
  • Removing the angst of “fighting” a work cover claim.

For more information on keeping in touch with employees on work cover, visit

Adapted from Work Safe Victoria’s “The sooner the better. A guide to starting the return to work conversation”

You're viewing the GippsDairy website. To view other regional dairy information, select a region.
Cookies help Dairy Australia improve your website experience. By using our website, you agree to our use of cookies.