Fitness to work assessments
Information for employers
What is a fitness to work assessment?
A fitness to work assessment is an expert independent medical opinion for employers, that provides advice to help manage any potential health concerns affecting an employee’s ability to perform in a safe and productive manner. It can also help identify factors that may result in an increased risk to the employee or others in the workplace.
Following a fitness to work assessment – conducted by an independent medical specialist – you will be provided with a detailed report to help you:
- Confirm if the employee has a medical or health condition
- Determine if that condition may be affecting their ability to perform their work safely and productively
- Establish whether any treatment the employee is having impacts their ability to undertake their role
- Determine whether returning to work following illness or a long absence poses any risk of aggravating an employee’s health condition
- Identify what reasonable accommodations can be made to support the employee to perform the requirements of their role
- Understand how effectively and efficiently the employee’s recovery and return to full or part-time work can be achieved
- Determine if participation in rehabilitation or retraining programs would best support the employee’s recovery
- Identify if extended leave or performance management concerns are caused by a health condition.
The report will include a lift out section that can be provided to the employee’s manager, which details their capability to undertake their role and in what capacity.
When is it beneficial to obtain a fitness to work assessment?
- If there are safety concerns about an employee, their coworkers or the public
- Where an employee has been absent from work after an injury or illness
- Changes in an employee’s behaviour have been observed
- There is a known or potential health condition impacting an employee’s productivity or attendance
- An employee is requesting to resume their employment after extended leave, from either a non-work-related condition or for a worker’s compensation claim.
Fitness to work PLUS
In the instance that the fitness to work assessment identifies that an analysis of the person’s ability to perform tasks would assist with facilitating a safe return to work, we can arrange a functional capacity evaluation through our sister company at MedHealth.
Gaining an understanding of an individual’s health can be complex and multifaceted, which is why, when necessary, we coordinate with our extensive network of health and work solution providers to assist medical specialists. By offering further assessments and resources, we can provide employers with complete assurance that their employees are fit to return to work.
Functional capacity evaluation (FCE)
Sometimes a medical specialist may request additional information to assist with their assessment of an individual’s fitness to return to work. This may occur when the person has complex, musculoskeletal or other health issues. Our sister company, IPAR, a national provider of health and work solutions, can provide an FCE, which is a systematic process of measuring, recording and analysing an individual’s ability to perform purposeful activities in response to broadly defined work demands, activities of daily living, or projecting vocational capacity status required.
Why is an FCE beneficial?
An FCE can be valuable in providing functional support of identified return to work tasks, to assess a worker’s preparedness to return to work, and to evaluate if the worker is performing to their maximum functional level and/or capacity. IPAR can offer a number of solutions from brief FCEs to more comprehensive assessments, depending on requirements.
What happens next?
Following completion of an FCE, IPAR will produce a report that will be provided to the mlcoa Consultant. The mlcoa consultation will incorporate the FCE findings into their report to ensure a holistic assessment is completed to determine work capacity.