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 Managing Workers Compensation in the Commonwealth

In 2014, the Secretaries' Board set up a sub-committee of deputy secretaries to improve workers compensation outcomes for the Australian Public Service (APS).

The Deputy Secretaries' Working Group on Managing Workers Compensation in the Commonwealth (the working group) set out to identify and promote ways that APS agencies could improve their performance in injury prevention, early intervention, and rehabilitation and return to work for injured workers. The ultimate aim was to reduce workers compensation premiums across the APS by improving work health and safety and rehabilitation outcomes for injured employees.

From late 2014 to mid-2016, working group members piloted initiatives to improve performance in a number of areas:

  • early intervention for injuries
  • excellence in case management
  • getting better performance from rehabilitation providers
  • identifying and remedying psychological hotspots
  • identifying suitable duties to support employees returning to work
  • providing mandatory training on work health and safety and early intervention
  • re-examining 'long tail' claims.

The working group has developed a booklet highlighting some of the achievements of the pilot programs. It is designed to provide APS agencies with information about the approach and early outcomes of a number of the pilot initiatives and promote some simple yet effective ways to improve workers compensation performance.