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Background to this publication

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The Return to Work Monitor is a survey of approximately 2000 injured workers in Australia and New Zealand.   The Monitor asks people with work injuries about return to work.


The Monitor interviews employees seven to nine months after they have lodged a claim, where ten days or more compensation has been paid.  The survey is completed by phone in November and May each year by Campbell Research & Consulting.


The RTW Monitor is designed to compare return to work outcomes and the processes involved in workers compensation schemes. Injured workers employed by organisations which are self-insured are not included.


Individual jurisdictions (systems that cover certain populations, such as the states and territories or systems such as Comcare) report on return to work outcomes through their own statistical reports.  However these reports are based only on information within the relevant system's administrative database.  They are able to report on outcomes such as days lost, costs, treatment costs, but not issues such as whether the person is back doing their normal job or restricted duties.  They are not able to report on issues that influence return to work.  In contrast, the RTW  Monitor  is able to ask employees about factors such as RTW assistance, workplace culture and insurer performance.  The RTW Monitor also includes some information on claims provided by the jurisdiction, such as average claim costs.


The Monitor also allows comparison across the jurisdictions, whereas each system has variations in the way they collect and report on their jurisdictional information.


The Monitor was initiated by WorkSafe Victoria in 1993 and was subsequently introduced across other jurisdictions in Australia and New Zealand.  Western Australia has not participated in the Monitor.


Tasmania is the only jurisdiction to publish their jurisdictional report.