What If I Can't Do My Old Job After an Injury? A Guide to Redeployment

Physical Health

A woman returning to work after redeployment

A workplace injury can be devastating, especially if it means you aren’t fit to return to work in your pre-injury role. During a long recovery it can be difficult to see past the pain and mobility issues but going back to work is beneficial and redeployment may be your best option.

What is Workplace Injury Redeployment?

Redeployment is when an injured worker is no longer medically fit to do their job following an injury. The injured person may use existing skills or gain new skills to find alternative employment that is more suited to them post-injury. An assessment of skills and interests and being provided with support for acquiring necessary new skills can help redeployed workers have long-term success.

Redeployment Scenarios

If an injured worker can’t rehabilitate to their pre-injury position, the redeployment options include the following scenarios:

Different job – same employer

Similar/modified or different job – different employer

Different job – different employer

Which Job Is More Suitable for you Now?

If an injury prevents you from returning to your old job, it’s may be advantageous to look for a position that is more suited to your needs. If you have been in a role for a while, or are only qualified for one role, you might think there is nothing else you can do. However, often this is just because it’s tricky visualising yourself in a different job. The skills and knowledge you have gained in one role may be transferable to another position with the right assistance and coaching.

By taking part in a skills assessment with a qualified professional you can identify all of the existing skills you have and potential jobs you would be interested in. Any skills gaps can be discovered and a plan devised for learning those skills.

Returning to Work After an Injury

You might think the longer you have off work, the better your recovery and the fitter you will be to start a new job, but this is rarely the case. You are best to return to work as soon as you have recovered sufficiently.

The benefits of early redeployment include:

Less chance of long-term absence – the longer you are off work, the harder it is to return physically and mentally.

Less chance of feeling anxious about returning – the longer you are away from work, the harder it is to remember how to use software and equipment. Even if you can only manage a short work week, it is better to return part-time than stay home.

More physical activity to continue your recovery – Physical deconditioning can occur as early as 48 hours after an injury. if you are going to work, it’s likely you are moving around more than if you were at home. Increased blood circulation and light exercise are good for helping the body continue the healing process.

Less chance of depression – a high percentage of long-term injured workers suffer mental health issues. Work provides social and mental stimulation that keep us healthy.

More positive outlook – knowing you are back working and making a positive contribution to the community can make you feel happy and realise there is a brighter future that doesn’t just revolve around your injury.  

Improved relationships with family and friends – when you are back at work you have something to talk about. Some injured workers feel that others see them as malingerers because they aren’t working.

How the Redeployment Process Can Work

Workers compensation legislation requires that every effort be made to find you with suitable equivalent employment as far as is practical. If an injury prevents a worker from returning to their pre-injury position and a suitable alternative position cannot be provided by the employer, the redeployment process begins.

  1. The employer asks the workers compensation insurer to refer the injured worker to an occupational rehabilitation provider for formal assessment to identify suitable employment options.
  2. The injured employee and treating doctor is advised of the recommended employment options and are engaged in the decision making.  
  3. The occupational rehabilitation provider will assist the injured employee by providing job seeking advice, if required. They may work on updating the CV and looking for suitable employment options together. In some case they may canvass for a work trial, to allow a worker an opportunity to gain the benefits of work while they recover.
  4. If any upskilling is required, suitable courses or training within the confines of the insurance process will be sourced.
  5. Job application and interview skills training may also be provided.

Professional Assistance with Redeployment

Redeployment can be a difficult process to navigate. If you are a mature worker or you have been with the same employer for many years, it can be even more difficult because you need to re-learn how to apply for jobs. You may be rusty on everything from updating your CV to interview skills and negotiating your contract. Help from a professional, skilled consultant means you are more likely to be successful in finding the right job and staying employed long-term.   

PeopleSense has held an enviable record for helping workers find redeployment opportunities. The industry standard for assisting employees return to work with the same employer is 89.5% whereas PeopleSense has a 94.1% success rate.

For those workers returning to work with a new company, the industry standard is 60.5% compared to PeopleSense with 79.3%. Our professional, highly trained staff are the reason for the results. We have experienced occupational therapists, physiotherapists, exercise physiologists and psychologists, providing rehabilitation and redeployment services, so there is continuous care throughout recovery and return to work.

If you need assistance with redeployment, call Altius Group on 1800 258 487 or contact us online.

Category: Physical Health