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Returning to Work after an Injury

Every year nearly 2 million claims are made to ACC for injuries sustained by New Zealanders. If you have been injured and you are employed, you might need some help to support back into work. If you are returning to work to the same employer or job you held prior to your injury you can access the Stay at Work service. You can be directly referred to this service by yourself, your employer, your health professional or ACC.

What is the Return to Work process?

An Occupational Health Therapist will be your first point of contact and they will come to your workplace to meet with you and your employer. They will liaise with your GP and health team to work out the best plan for you to return to your normal role as quickly and safely as possible. Our Physiotherapists can be involved in working with you on a physical rehabilitation plan if that is needed to get you stronger and more mobile for your work. The team will work alongside you to overcome barriers and support you on your journey back to full employment.

What happens if I have lost my job or I am not able to do my pre-injury role?

In this instance, you would be eligible for the Back to Work service. A Vocational Consultant is the first point of contact for this service and its their role to find out about your skills and abilities and look at ways to find you suitable employment. They can organise help with learning new skills or finding workplaces that are open to taking on clients recovering from an injury. They can be supported by an Occupational therapist and a Physiotherapist to help manage the workplace and make sure you have your injury well managed.

Are there any costs involved?

These services are fully funded by ACC and are at no cost to the client.

 Click here to refer directly through to us

Information for referrers

Vocational Rehabilitation service – Stay At Work

The purpose of vocational rehabilitation services is to help a client maintain employment, obtain employment or acquire vocational independence after injury.

  • The maintain employment service, known as the Stay at Work Service within the ACC structure, is based on the principle that recovery is best achieved at work.
  • The provider works with the client, employer and medical providers to identify and remove barriers to return to work and develop safe return to work plans which promote recovery/ rehabilitation of the client/employee and work for the employer.
  • Ongoing support is provided to the employee and employer until the agreed work outcome is achieved.
  • Where a client/ employee is not yet physically able to resume their pre injury job tasks, a functional strengthening programme is put in place either prior to or in conjunction with the return to work programme.
  • The service is provided by occupational therapists, occupational health physiotherapists and physiotherapists. Input from other disciplines can be included in the service.

Vocational Rehabilitation - Back To Work

The Back to Work service is for clients who have been working, have sustained an injury and are not able to return to the type of work they were previously doing. The service prepares the client for a return to the workforce in a new type of employment that will be sustainable from a medical perspective.

The service can involve:

  • Preparation for employment, including CV writing
  • An exercise based programme
  • Coordination of skills training, such as gaining of driver licenses, or computer training
  • Sourcing, setting up and monitoring work experience, and liaising with employers regarding employment 

Clinicians who can deliver services under a WR include:

  • Vocational Consultants
  • Physiotherapists
  • Occupational Therapists
  • Nutritionists

To refer your clients directly to us 

You can make a patient referral to us by contacting ACC and requesting a referral to Active+ for the Back to Work service. To contact ACC to request this please contact the Provider helpline on 0800 222 070 or 

If you have any questions about the Return to Work Services please email