Returning to work with fewer hours, or reduced duties is a good way for a sick or injured employee to transition back to normal hours.

A graduated return to work plan calls for a collaborative approach – between your employee, the treating medical practitioner, you, and your employee's QSuper Claims Manager.

Put simply, a graduated return to work plan aims to:

  • return your employee to normal duties and hours, taking into account their medical barriers
  • increase your employee's hours and duties over a specified time period
  • ensure all tasks are carried out safely.

The Claims Manager will consider the medical evidence and let your employee know when a graduated return to work will start.

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Determine the employee's account type (such as Accumulation, Defined Benefit, or State account)

For employees who contribute to QSuper, the type of account is defined by where the contribution payments are directed. For example, employees with a Defined Benefit account can also make voluntary contributions that are deposited into an Accumulation account. However, for the purpose of making a claim, your employee is considered to have a Defined Benefit account.

Complete the graduated return to work agreement

In order to pay a partial benefit to your employee, we’ll need a Graduated Return to Work agreement, which is a contract that’s supported by you and the treating medical practitioner.

Wait for our final approval

When the arrangement starts, deduct contributions at the employee's nominated percentage, based on the reduced salary. When the employee starts work on reduced income, standard member contributions and compulsory employer payments must reflect the reduced salary.

On your contribution payment file, record the normal standard full-time hours, reduced standard base hours and reduced hours worked

You should outline the details of your employee's contribution and working hours as follows:

Salary Standard full-time hours Standard base hours Hours worked
Permanent, full-time substantive salary Standard hours for a full-time employee Reduced hours employee will work Actual hours employee works

No. Employees with State accounts can resume work in a lower paid position, and we’ll continue paying them a gap pension benefit. It’s an arrangement that can continue indefinitely, subject to appropriate medical reports. Employees with QSuper Defined Benefit and Accumulation accounts must be working towards a graduated return to full employment at their previous level.

Income Protection claims, including any graduated return to work period, continue up to the employees maximum benefit period for a condition or related condition. If your employee doesn’t know what their benefit period is they can find out via Member Online or they can give us a call. The introduction of the graduated return to work benefit is designed to return your employee to their usual job, usually within twelve weeks of them starting the program.

Find out more

Download our graduated return to work information sheets. There's one for you, your employee and the treating medical practitioner.

Check out QSuper's seminars and webinars. There's bound to be one to suit your employee's needs or situation.

For assistance with general super enquiries contact our Employer Help Desk.