Personal injury claims management specialist EML has brought together employers from industries as diverse as health, aged care, and community services, to manufacturing, transport, and education for the Workplace Culture and Return to Work Matters forum held in Melbourne.
The event was designed to help employers better understand how return-to-work performance impacts the Victorian workers’ compensation scheme and business costs, as well as the importance of employee health and wellbeing to create the right culture to support return to work.
Karen Oldaker, Medibank’s general manager of wellbeing and community, shared how the company purpose of “Better Health for Better Lives” shapes its approach for more than 4,000 employees.
“It’s about putting a health lens across our entire employee experience,” Oldaker said. “It’s much more than offering free flu vaccines and discounted gym memberships. With all programs we offer, it’s about choice. We want to create a culture where employees are able to put their health and wellbeing first. This can be through flexible working hours, new parental leave policies, as well as our purpose built ‘healthy’ office environment.”
Aidan Brophy, WorkSafe Victoria’s director of claims, was also present at the forum to give an update on Strategy 2030 and the latest statistics for claims, injury, and return-to-work rates.
“Sadly, 18 Victorians have lost their lives so far this year, and the agriculture and construction industries remain a risk,” Brophy said. “While claims for physical injury make up 85% of all total claims, mental injury claims numbers are increasing, and the return-to-work outcomes for these claims is much lower.”
Cameron Lucas, EML’s in-house actuary, talked about what drives workers’ compensation premium costs and how return-to-work outcomes impact this.
“Managing claims well and returning workers to work as soon as they are able, benefits business through lower insurance costs,” Lucas said. “It also ensures the workers compensation scheme is sustainable long-term, plus, the whole community benefits if people can return to work and lead productive, healthy lives.”