Suitable Duties Plan
A suitable duties plan is a written rehabilitation document that details all restrictions that will need to be implemented to ensure a safe return to work after injury or illness. The suitable duties plan is usually 4 weeks in length, and gradually increases the work demands in line with injury recovery and rehabilitation outcomes. It is a binding document that is agreed and signed by the occupational therapist, doctor, employee, employer and insurer. To ensure that the information on the suitable duties plan is tailored to meet the restrictions of the injured worker and the organisation’s business needs, a workplace assessment must be first completed.
Information provided on a suitable duties plan includes:
- Day and hours of work each week.
- Tasks that can safely be completed within each week.
- Specific work restrictions, such as weight limits or maximum number of repetitions allowed.
- Job modification.
- Manual handling recommendations and restrictions
Once developed, a formal suitable duties plan will provide all relevant parties with a contract documenting the terms and expectations of an employee’s return to work rehabilitation outcomes. Advantage Injury Management Services will monitor the suitable duties plan on a weekly basis to ensure that the injured worker is able to manage the demands and increases documented on the plan. We are able to make adjustments and changes as needed to ensure that employer and employee needs are met by the suitable duties plan.
When to refer for, or use a suitable duties plan?
Advantage Injury Management Services recommends using a suitable duties plan whenever an employee is unable to perform their entire pre-injury employment role without restriction. Other situations that may also require development of a suitable duties plan:
- If you are having difficulties identifying what duties may be suitable.
- When an employee has difficulties complying with medical restrictions.
- If a treating medical practitioner is unsure whether there are appropriate duties in the workplace.
- To demonstrate to all parties that a safe return to work can be facilitated.
- To ensure all parties are aware of the rehabilitation plan.
What are the benefits of using a suitable duties plan?
There are a number of benefits in having Advantage Injury Management Services develop a suitable duties plan to assist an employee return to work, such as:
- Our staff are trained and experienced in identifying suitable duties and restrictions, which will often help your injured workers remain productive rather than performing alternative non-productive tasks.
- Our occupational therapists and physiotherapists are able to interpret medical restrictions and medical certificates to ensure that identified suitable duties are safe and sustainable.
- The documentation is completed for you, and provided to all relevant parties in a 1-page document. Our occupational therapist or physiotherapist will take responsibility for ensuring that the doctors, specialists and employees have all consented to the document. This will save you both time and money.
- Having a specialist third party develop the suitable duties plan can help to maintain a positive working relationship between the employer and employee.