Policy University Management Health Management Policy

Health Management Policy

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James Cook University is committed to supporting an early and safe return to work of any staff member who has an injury or illness, whether it be work related or non-work related. The objectives of this policy and its accompanying procedures are to:

  • Enable injured staff members to stay at work where possible, or, to support the earliest possible return to work in conjunction with medical advice;
  • Minimise the social and economic cost of injury and illness;
  • Improve staff knowledge and practices in areas of workplace rehabilitation, health and safety.


This policy applies to all James Cook University staff in Australia, and relates to both work related, and non-work related injury and illness.


Injury: Includes a physical injury, aggravation of a pre-existing condition, psychiatric or psychological disorder. This definition is also taken to include acute and chronic illnesses, or other health conditions including pregnancy.

Rehabilitation: A process designed to ensure the staff members’ earliest possible return to work and/or maximise the staff members’ independent functioning.  Rehabilitation may include suitable duties plans, necessary and reasonable treatment services provided by registered persons, services approved by an insurer or the provision of necessary and reasonable aids or equipment.

Staff: Includes all continuing, fixed term and casual staff who are covered by the JCU Enterprise Agreement.

Workplace rehabilitation: A system of rehabilitation that is initiated or managed by the employer, and includes temporary changes to a staff members’ work arrangements i.e. working modified hours and/or duties.


James Cook University promotes effective workplace rehabilitation and recognises that assisting staff members to stay at work and supporting an early safe return to meaningful work after an injury, minimises the impact of the injury on the staff member and their families.

Injuries may be physical or psychological. Experience shows that engaging in work assists the healing process for each injury type, and helps restore the staff member’s normal functions sooner.

Workplace Rehabilitation

  1. The University is firmly committed to providing effective rehabilitation with the following objectives:
    • Rehabilitation is a normal practice and an expectation within this workplace;
    • The goal of rehabilitation is to keep the injured staff member at work (stay at work) or return the injured staff member to their normal duties as soon as it is medically safe to do so (return to work);
    • A team approach to rehabilitation is used, with cooperation, consultation and confidentiality being key requirements for all persons involved;
    • At all times the rights, welfare and confidentiality of the staff member are respected.
  2. Specifically James Cook University will:
    • Ensure rehabilitation in the workplace begins as soon as practicable so that the staff member’s maximum physical, psychological and social potential can be restored;
    • Support early referral of work related injuries to external rehabilitation services where deemed beneficial, or when requested by the staff member;
    • Facilitate the return to pre-injury position wherever possible by encouraging an early return to work, using established rehabilitation procedures;
    • Accept rehabilitation practices as part of management functions within the University;
    • Actively involve the injured staff member in the workplace rehabilitation process;
    • Wherever possible, support restricted hours of work or alternate duties for staff members who are unable to perform their usual occupation;
    • Ensure the injured staff member retains the right to receive treatment from whomsoever they wish, subject to James Cook University's right to have the injured staff member examined by a doctor of its choice as per the JCU Enterprise Agreement 2016.

HSE-PRO-012 HSE Health Management Procedure provides further information and guidance on the procedures for managing both work related and non-work related injuries at James Cook University.

Related policy instruments

HSE-PRO-012 HSE Health Management Procedure

JCU Health and Safety Policies, Guidelines and Forms

Related Documents and Legislation

Workers’ Compensation and Rehabilitation Act 2003

Workers’ Compensation and Rehabilitation Regulation 2014


NOTE: Printed copies of this policy are uncontrolled, and currency can only be assured at the time of printing.

Approval Details

Policy DomainUniversity Management
Policy Sub-domainWHS Management

Policy Custodian

Deputy Vice Chancellor, Services and Resources

Approval Authority

Work Health and Safety Committee

Date for next Major Review


Revision History

Version no.

Approval date

Implementation date






Policy name change from Workplace Rehabilitation to Health Management. Policy.  Amendments to meet JCU Policy and Delegations Framework. Information transferred to the associated Health Management Procedure.

Injury Prevention and Management Advisor




Interim approval (6 months) granted by the Vice Chancellor. Major review to be conducted within this time-frame.

Dot point 2 in Clause 6 changed from Heads of Schools to: College Deans

Quality, Standards and Policy Officer




Policy sponsor and approval authority amended to reflect approved policy framework

Quality, Standards and Policy




Removed HR Officer Cairns as a contact person







Health Management, rehabilitation, injury, illness, pregnancy, return to work, suitable duties

Contact person

Injury Prevention and Management Advisor