The purpose of this paper is to provide insight into the injured worker’s perspective of experiences with their workplace return to work coordinator (RTWC), and explore some of the barriers they encountered in the return to work process.Design/methodology/approachSemi-structured interviews were conducted with ten injured workers from New South Wales, Australia. The thematic analysis of transcripts was completed.FindingsThe findings provide an insight into the experiences of injured workers and their relationship with RTWCs. Five key themes emerged from the data: return to work experiences and the RTWC role, high turnover and lack of consistency in the role, RTWC “ideal”, knowledge and skills, communication skills and the RTWC role and GP visits privacy and conflict of interest with peer RTWCs.Practical implicationsThe role of the workplace RTWC in the return to work process for injured workers is important and these findings are highly relevant to the return to work sector. Consistency within the role at the workplace and careful consideration of the specific traits and characteristics required by an individual to perform the role need to be observed during the selection process by employers when appointing a workplace RTWC to assist injured workers return to work.Originality/valueThis is the first Australian study to examine the injured workers views and experiences with the workplace RTWC and other factors that shape the return to work process.
International Journal of Workplace Health Management – Emerald Publishing
Published: Mar 27, 2019
Keywords: Qualitative research; Return to work; Disability managers; Injured workers; Return to work coordinators