Why it matters

Last updated: 06 Jul 2015

This page is: current

Notwithstanding your agency's legal obligations to ensure your health, safety and wellbeing work, it's also the right thing to do—for both you and your agency.

A health assessment enables your agency to collect specific, work-related medical advice from a qualified medical practitioner so that informed decisions can be made about how best to:

  • support you to work to your full capacity and to stay at work or return to work
  • make reasonable adjustment to your work or working environment
  • aid in your recovery and rehabilitation, and
  • minimise the potential for future harm, to you or others.

Work is good for you

Evidence supports the value of staying at or returning to work as part of your recovery or rehabilitation and not just as an ‘end point’11.

In general, work is good for you. It:

  • provides economic stability
  • creates valuable social and interpersonal connections
  • improves socio-economic status
  • gives you opportunities to contribute and achieve goals, and
  • provides you with an identity and role within society12.

All of these factors contribute to your overall physical and psychological health and wellbeing.

Research shows that the longer you are off work because of illness or injury, the less likely you are to return to work. The statistics are staggering—if you are off work for:

  • 20 days, the chance of ever getting back to work is 70 per cent
  • 45 days, the chance of ever getting back to work is 50 per cent
  • 70 days, the chance of ever getting back to work is 35 per cent*.

* Comcare, Health Benefits or Work

It is also in your agency's best interests to support you when you are ill or injured and help you to stay at or return to work. Organisations that focus on employee wellbeing see an overall improvement in employee health. This, in turn, improves productivity, employee engagement and motivation.13 There are also financial benefits to supporting health and wellbeing in the workplace.


Footnotes

11 Comcare, Health Benefits of Work, http://www.comcare.gov.au/claims_and_benefits/medical_treatment/medical_practitioners/health_benefits_of_work

12 UK Civil Service, Is work good for your health and wellbeing? https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/214326/hwwb-is-work-good-for-you.pdf

13 World Health Organization, citied in Royal Australasian College of Physicians, Health and Productivity