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Returning to work

It can be difficult to juggle and organise your return to work after injury, illness or parental leave. Employers should be flexible and supportive when it comes to helping you return. It is against the law to discriminate against an injured or ill worker or a worker returning from parental leave. Employers must seriously consider reasonable requests from employees to adjust their working arrangements so they can return from injury or meet parental responsibilities.

A mother sits on a beanbag with her newborn baby in her lap.

Photo by Daria Shevtsova from Pexels

Returning after injury and illness

Discrimination against an injured or ill worker is against the law, regardless of whether the injury happened at work or outside the workplace.

An ‘injured worker’ includes a person with a temporary or permanent disability, physical or otherwise.

If you become ill or are injured you should work out with your employer:

  • the suitable time away from work to recover
  • a reasonable return-to-work plan
  • appropriate duties when you return.

Read more about disability discrimination.

Returning after parental leave

While you don’t have an automatic right to move from full-time to part-time work, the law requires employers to seriously consider reasonable requests from employees to adjust their working arrangements so they can meet their parental responsibilities.

Visit the Fair Work Ombudsman website for more information or read more about pregnancy discrimination and parental and carer discrimination.

Training and resources for employers

The Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission offers training for employers as well as a number of useful resources on discrimination and the law.

Related resources

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Address
Level 3, 204 Lygon Street Carlton Victoria 3053

General enquiries
enquiries@veohrc.vic.gov.au

Reception
1300 891 848

Enquiry line
1300 292 153 or (03) 9032 3583

Interpreters
1300 152 494

NRS Voice Relay
1300 555 727 then use 1300 292 153

Media enquiries
0447 526 642

The Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission stands on the traditional lands of the Wurundjeri and Boonwurrung Peoples of the Kulin Nation. We recognise their cultures, histories, diversity and deep connection to this land and pay our respects to their Elders past and present.

Sovereignty has never been ceded – this land always was, and always will be, Aboriginal land.