NSW insurer icare's charitable arm, icare Foundation, has launched WORKUP – a $5m investment call to support and empower workers to overcome complex personal and social barriers to return to work.
Amanda Keogh, icare Foundation general manager, said the initiative is a “genuinely open” call for organisations with fresh and compelling ideas to address the “persistent and complex” problem of prolonged unemployment after a workplace injury.
“We know that the longer a worker does not return to work the higher the risk of them never returning,” Keogh said. “Around 77% of injured workers return to work within three months, but for workers who remain off work longer, their chances of returning are much reduced. We also know that the longer people are away from their workplace, the greater their risk of social isolation and psychosocial issues, which can further delay their recovery. Long-term injured workers often face a range of complex barriers that can make returning to work difficult.”
Keogh said icare Foundation is “looking for fresh and new ideas, as well as proven models from other jurisdictions, to assist workers to overcome these barriers, and importantly, to support employers who are committed to helping their employees return to work.”
“The commitment from icare is incredibly high which is why we are providing $5m in funding, as well as taking the time to co-design potential programs to give our partners every possible opportunity to be successful in their pitch,” Keogh said. “The foundation also provides partners with measurement capability so that we can learn whether and how the intervention is creating outcomes, pivot if we need to, and make sure that we can report real impact when our support has come to a close. If you are capable of executing innovative health and wellbeing programs in NSW that are not just ‘business as usual’, then we want to hear from you.”
For more information on the icare Foundation’s WORKUP investment call, visit: www.icare.nsw.gov.au/WorkUp.