Back to the future - A summary of the RTW results from the 2011 RTW Monitor
The Return to Work Monitor for 2010-11 reviews trends in return to work rates and influences in Australia and New Zealand.
This article summaries the return to work results from the 2011 Monitor, looking at trends across Australasia.
Return to work rates in Australia and New Zealand appear to have reversed the downward trend of recent years. The RTW rate (the amount of people who had returned to work for some time since their injury) has risen in both countries for the second successive year, to 86% in Australia and 87% in NZ.
The durable RTW rate (that is, the amount of people who were still working at the time of the RTW Monitor survey) has also lifted again, to 77% in Australia and 78% in NZ. While Australia's performance on both measures still lags behind the very good results of 2005-06, it appears that Australia has lifted out of the return to work rut that resulted from the 2008-09 economic downturn.
When the results are examined by jurisdiction, we see the more populous eastern states have masked poorer performance in some other states. New South Wales, Victoria and Queensland have all turned around their performance from two years previously, while South Australia, Tasmania and Comcare have fallen behind. The Northern Territory and Seacare have been excluded from the individual jurisdiction results below, due to their small sample size. Western Australia does not participate in the Return to Work Monitor.
The RTW rate has increased over the last two years in Australia, but is not back to the 87% level of 2005-06. New Zealand has followed a similar pattern with RTW. Durable RTW has followed the same trends, though NZ has generally outperformed Australia.