Overcoming a lack of available duties: work trial

If you are unable to identify suitable work options that match your worker’s current capacity, a work trial can help overcome the problem.

A work trial places a worker with a host employer for a short period of time when the pre-injury employer is unable to accommodate their current capacity.

The work trial is an opportunity for the worker to recover at work while performing duties suited to their current capacity. Duties can be upgraded over a period of time (no longer than 12 weeks) until the worker reaches the required capacity to return to your business.

An approved workplace rehabilitation provider will assist you to source a work trial host and submit a proposal.

Costs associated with the work trial are funded by SIRA and are not a claims cost.

There are financial incentives and support programs to help you help your worker to return or recover at work. Go to our website for more information.

Demonstrating a lack of available duties

If you believe you cannot meet your legal obligations to provide suitable employment, you will need to show why. At a minimum, you should be able to:

  • show who you consulted with (i.e. your worker, supervisor, other workplace manager, approved rehabilitation provider)
  • show that you carried out an adequate assessment of suitable or pre-injury work options
  • identify factors you consider are restricting your ability to provide suitable or pre-injury employment
  • identify assistance you have sought, eg from your insurer and/or an approved workplace rehabilitation provider.

A lack of available duties does not remove your obligation to actively participate in the recover at work planning process. It is important for the worker to stay active and, therefore, imperative that alternate work options or strategies are identified.

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