Rehabilitation standards and procedures


Maintaining a safe workplace and healthy workforce is very important to the University.

From time to time staff members may be injured, or suffer illness as a result of performing their duties. Where this occurs, the University is committed to ensuring that the staff member's condition is identified and treated as early as possible.


All staff members at the University.


To clarify the support available to injured staff to assist them with returning to their substantive position as soon as practical.


1. Our rehabilitation process will promote:

  • Early reporting of workplace injury and illness
  • Early intervention and medical referral
  • Establishment of alternative duties where required to support early or partial return to work
  • Full return to substantive duties or alternative duties where practical.

2. To assist staff members in an early and safe return to work following injury or illness (whether work related or not).

3. To assist in maintaining staff members at work wherever possible. This may include:

  • The same job and the same duties
  • The same job, modified duties
  • Another job.

4. To establish an organisational culture that reinforces active injury prevention through the identification of hazards and early reporting, supporting the University’s emphasis on reducing work related injury and incapacity.

5. To establish in the University a culture which reinforces that return to work rehabilitation is the usual course of action. Rehabilitation will begin within five days of an staff member reporting an injury or illness, and preferably at the time of the injury.

6. To ensure when necessary, that there is early accurate medical assessment and involvement of a rehabilitation specialist and/or allied health professional to support the return to work/rehabilitation process.

7. To assist the injured or ill staff members maintain themselves at work or integrate them successfully back into the workforce. This will also assist in reducing possible psychological family, social and economic costs.

8. To ensure that skilled/trained staff members are trained at work, thereby maximising resources and minimising productivity losses.

9. To reduce the human and economic cost of work related injury and occupational illness to both the University and its staff members and to assist seriously ill stff members to maintain their independence and a full family and community life.

Related procedures

10. All of the following key parties involved in the rehabilitation and return to work process who must all take responsibility for contributing to its success:

Parties and responsibilities

Staff member

  • Report symptoms or injury promptly and in the correct fashion. Take responsibility for, and comply with, agreed rehabilitation plan.


  • Identify and provide alternate duties. Manage return to work and provide support and encouragement.

Rehabilitation coordinator

  • Coordinates rehabilitation and ensure that preventative measures are established.

Case manager (third-party provider)

  • Contact the injured staff member, assess needs and entitlements and liaise with medical treatment providers. Facilitate the establishment of an agreed rehabilitation plan and monitor and report progress to all parties.

Treatment provider

  • Monitor the effectiveness of treatment and support early or partial return to work.

Staff member's representative

  • Support the injured staff member, advise on alternative duties, communicate concerns and work toward agreement.


The following definitions apply to this document:

Alternative duties are where a staff member performs completely different tasks from those they usually do

Staff member refers to an individual employed on a full or part-time basis

Substantive position means the role and related terms and conditions to which you were employed by the University

Third-party provider is the specialist service provider that has been engaged to administer medical costs on the University’s behalf and to provide case management and rehabilitation services

University means the University of Auckland and includes all subsidiaries.

Key relevant documents

Document management and control

Document Control
Version: 1.0
Last Updated: June 2020
Next Review: June 2023
Approver: Associate Director, Health Safety & Wellbeing