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Returned to work

Community Member

I’ve been on work cover for around 10/11 months due to work place injury, bullying, assault and numerous other things happend I’ve been sent to a new location ( temporarily) while I adjust to returning to work , today was first day back It was hard I was lumped in a role I’ve never done ( receptionist) Recived no training just answer phones take notes which is way stressing when I don’t know clients procedures or  even the telephone systems or who to ask for help no one was available despite me asking numerous times for help . I can’t say how I felt after leaving work all of 3 hours work left me sweating profusely and literally panicked state of mind then to top it off I got a snarky email from my nasty return to work co ordinator due to apparently me missing something in a timesheet I submitted and that was my fault given I’ve never had to do timesheets and again no one was around to assist me to complete these tasks . My dad says I should quit and after today I feel I should I I’mvery overwhelmed by today’s awful work day and told my new boss that too . I dread going into work tomorrow , how do others deal with returning to work after long absence and mental health problems I have anxiety and depression Re what happened at my original work site yes I am requesting a new return to work co ordinator 

50 Replies 50

Community Member

I’d be reporting it now


its one thing to be curious - it’s another to be constantly asked


This is your personal information and you’re protected by privacy laws


I’d just be like - everyone is so curious and ever since I came back I get asked this x times a day / week. If you want to talk about something else work related, or you want to talk about your work arrangements, happy to chat otherwise I’m going to have to cut this convo short and get back to work


seriously - just be like, I’m back part time and working here for the time being… is there something else you need to know?


and just be like ‘maybe have a chat to HR or a manager or something, I can’t help you with that. I’ve said all there is to know’


That is it - that is all they need to know. You’re in part time and working there. Have a nice day. Back to work.


I’d just throw random statements maybe too


change is good, isn’t it? and I’m loving this office / the plants 


find something positive - you love the commute. Glad to be there.


If it’s the same person pressing - report it.


It’s just not that interesting - normal people don’t care, they just focus on work and make some small talk and might ask but not in the sense of pressing you 

Community Member

Oh… if you’re on graduated return to work…. Call WorkCover….

You need an advocate - this is very stressful to deal with as the person recovering. It’s a lot easier for others to advocate and help you navigate this with some support.

I’ve been there and I can tell you right now - my capacity to advocate for someone else and ride someone else’s boss is different to what I had to do on my own

Hang in there ok. This is all very wrong and you’d be surprised which workplaces are as lax and bad as your workplace - places you can’t imagine. 

My workplace had all the policies and was in an industry with a big stake in this area of work - bullying and this kind of behaviour is not ok but this is what happens even in the industries that are supposed to be all about this stuff.

You’re not alone. See if there’s a disability advocate or mental health or anxiety advocate or something… 

community legal centers might be able to help you draft a letter 

they have duties under WHS act etc so seriously - report it all as a hazard notification if someone can help you write it and just set out the things happening so far…. Makes it a bit easier to complete

But expect backlash and they’ll push you out.
alternatively. Do they have a HSR or a site OHS rep? That’s who I would see. This is all psychosocial hazards and there’s codes of practice.

the laws haven’t changed - they have duties 

Hello blues23

It is good that you are seeing your GP and remember to get a medical certificate covering you for time off.

Your manager has broached so many of the regulatory rules of employment. The fact that you are now needing to reduce your hours due to such treatment is also causing you further distress.

You are not required to discuss the reasons for time off with anyone including managerial staff when having a medical certificate.

You could try contacting disability advocacy in your state as anxiety and workplace bullying is something that they look into.

Here is a link for Australia to help you find your state representative.

Good luck with everything

You are doing nothing wrong.

You are looking after your health.

I would not be entering into any lengthy conversations with any of the cretons who are taunting you.

I would respond only with "I need to focus purely on my work for the safety of all".


Keep on writing about it here. Maintaining your confidentiality and identity as we all need to.

This will help somewhat by releasing your built up emotions in a safe environment.

All the best


Sorry forgot to leave the link

will not allow me to post link
search for disability gateway australia
or ring beyond blue helpline if does not work

Hi emotions


thstnks for your reply I have reported the issues the questions have sort of ceased: new issues thou of my boss making me work longer than my RTWP states also got a call on my day off with being accused of meant to be at work which set off a panic attack and felt quite bad about myself for a few days I felt the need to fight the anxiety so I continued to go to work I’ve addressed these issues with the RTWC who is not much help but yes there’s confusion but not much help really so many other things like being left on site with a placement student ( I had no idea was a placement Student until Wednesday of last week ) with 1 other staff while they work on the kitchen I’ve reported  this to work cover too it’s yeah interesting I haven’t been given an induction, any access to files that I need to access to actually do my job I’ve mentioned these things to nearly two months of being back at work nothing. I sent off a couple of emails to work with these things not happening so little anxiety regarding going to work tomorrow as it’s like I’ve set off more bombs due to my works lack of any communication/ direction of my RTWP duties yes I have duties list but no access to files I’ve been sent to a new work site with no access to information so it’s like a dud of a thing Im just gonna turn up tomorrow and be like well it’s management responsibility  to make sure I get all the training and resources to do my job therefore it’s not my fault it’s not being supplied 

Community Member

Same if not slightly worse issues than before on Wednesday my Return to Work co ordinator spent a good 45 minutes abusing me for reducing my hours ( graduated return to work plan) I’ve had a lot of stress at work / returning to work . So this abuse I got off my RTWC left me frozen with fear I couldn’t get out of my car just frozen couldn’t think straight or breathe properly ( still same 3 days later on the calming down aspect and the breathing aspect) so anyway went to dr got no capacity for 4 weeks as I had a massive panic attack at the drs couldn’t function properly. No I worry as it’s past 52 weeks my employer does not have to keep my job open ( things that my RTWC said to me were very discriminatory asking me things about my mental health and why treatment is taking so long, threatening to fire me if I wasn’t “ better “ in like two months time and just threatening to terminate me in any regard.it was like really abusive went on for 45 minutes. My concern is that I won’t get a job again or I’ll be struggling financially after all this like stuff .has anyone ever been on work cover and gotten another job afterwards? And what was it like ? 

Community Member

Hi there, I just wanted to comment that there have been HEAPS of jobs I've had in the past where I haven't been questioned on whether I've had a workcover claim. Some do, but those jobs have been very few. I hope this helps relieve some anxiety your having.

Hello blues23


Sorry that I have not responded to you for a few months. I was away and then returned with covid which further confused my already confused foggy mind.

How are things with the work situation now?

I will let you know that I am not on my computer every day so I may not see your post if you do reply.

I sincerely hope that things have settled for you as it is deplorable that anyone be treated so poorly.



Hi emotions 


sorty u got covid , hope ur better now , I’ve had covid many times. Work ( in that work place )is over they have said they have no role for me so I’m only recently starting to get back into looking 4 another job and getting rehabilitated ( not started yet with it ( but looking to the future although terrified of going to work ( interviews) I have this internal struggle stress fear apprehensive about it all especially returning to the same role I was in before even if it’s a different employer I’m very scared to work with others people  colleagues and stuff but I hope in time that will pass i can’t hide under a rock forever right ?? 

Hello blues23

That is a dreadful experience to have to deal with whilst trying to recover and rehabilitate. 
Workcover has a history of not supporting clients sadly.

Clearly has not improved at all.


Gosh how many times have you had COVID? That would have an impact on energy levels and your mind as well. 
I imagine that you were expecting the no available role as part of the poor treatment. I think that outcome is far better for your long term health.

Rehabilitation is that still work cover?

Your internal response is a natural human reaction. 
Do you need to return to the same type of role or can someone help you highlight all of your skills. 
I can think of a few enduring that experience.







working under pressure


Starting a new job causes varying levels of anxiety and also adrenaline which can feel similar.

At your interview try to focus purely on a new beginning with new people at new premises. Try to focus on your eagerness to succeed and opportunity to start afresh.

I hope that you have a go or some kind of Counsellor who can help you through these stages.

Have you rang Beyondblue counsellors yet? They are very supportive and can provide some helpful ideas. You can ring more than once. They are also available 24/7 . If not sleeping call and have a chat.

keep on writing about your thoughts; feelings as much as you want to that helps release some of the intensity. 
I believe that was the wrong job for you and something will eventuate even if not what you expect.

Look after yourself.