Return to Work Victoria announced
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Return to Work Victoria announced

by Freya Lucas

April 24, 2024

The Victorian Government has announced the establishment of Return to Work Victoria which is dedicated to helping injured Victorians recover and get back to work safely.


Jason Lardelli has been appointed Return to Work Victoria’s Executive Director.


Mr Lardelli has been at the forefront of improving return to work outcomes throughout his career and will be key to improving outcomes for Victorian workers through his leadership of Return to Work Victoria.


Return to Work Victoria will focus on promoting effective occupational rehabilitation of injured workers, encourage employers, including those in the early childhood education and care (ECEC) sector to provide suitable job opportunities for workers who have been injured, and identify innovative injury prevention and return to work strategies.


With an initial program budget of $50 million for its first three years, Return to Work Victoria will deliver the Government’s commitment to create and trial new programs and initiatives to improve return to work outcomes. An annual review will evaluate pilot programs to ensure they are delivering outcomes for workers and value for money.


The pilot programs include a worker support hotline where workers can access mental health support for work-related stress and burnout, and an initiative that will provide small and medium sized businesses with tailored support to build mentally healthy workplaces.


“Establishing Return to Work Victoria delivers on our promise to provide dedicated support for workers that’s focused on injury recovery and helping people return to work safely,” Victorian Minister for WorkSafe and the TAC Danny Pearson said. 


“These changes mean Victorian workers will continue to get the help they need, when they need it – while also making sure employers get the right support to keep their workers safe.”


WorkSafe’s claims management, recovery and return to work functions will be centralised in Return to Work Victoria, enabling WorkSafe to better target support and interventions.


A Return to Work Advisory Committee will also be established to provide advice to the WorkSafe Victoria Board on return to work initiatives.


“WorkSafe will continue to focus on preventing injuries from occurring in the first place, but when they do occur Return to Work Victoria will be there to help injured workers recover, rehabilitate and return to work safely,” WorkSafe Chief Executive Officer Joe Calafiore explained. 

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