Niki Ellis | Future of Return to Work


Future of Return to Work

12 May 2016, Posted by Professor Niki Ellis in WHS

I attended the Northern Queensland conference on return to work (RTW) in Townsville on Friday 29 April. This was a terrific conference.

Professor Alex Collie, ISCRR, gave an update on the evidence on engaging GPs in the RTW process. He showed that the proportion of certificates in Australia that are fit certificates as opposed to sick certificates is increasing, but that contrary to expectations that proportion is not greater in doctors who see a lot of workers’ compensation cases. Furthermore the likelihood of a fit certificate being written varies hugely with the nature of the condition – not many for mental health.

Estelle Pearson from Finity talked about big data. Automation of decision making in workers compensation claims management is starting to happen.  Huge potential – clone your best claims manager!

A panel discussed a nightmare of a case study and demonstrated that we really need to get out of the bog of compensation minutae and upstream to improving ability to deal with issues early in workplaces.

I spoke on the future of RTW based on some work I did in the life insurance sector for SuperFriend and some more recent work for Comcare on a national cross-sectoral approach to common issues. Click here to download my conference presentation.

But the bottom line, I think, is the question, Does workers’ compensation do more harm than good?