- Cancer Information
- Practical concerns
- Cancer, work and you
- For workers
- Returning to work
- Going back to work
- Making a return to work plan
Making a return to work plan
When you are ready to return to work, contact your employer about creating a written return to work plan. This is a document prepared by you, your doctor and your employer (or a rehabilitation professional) outlining your approach to returning to work.
It may also be helpful to develop a similar plan if you keep working during treatment.
The plan is tailored to your specific work situation and health needs, and may include:
- your job title and location
- approximate date of return to work
- time period of the plan
- your goals and abilities
- a summary of duties
- start, finish and break times
- any specific restrictions or recommendations from your health care team (e.g. wearing a mask or social distancing, time limits for sitting, must wear a lymphoedema sleeve)
- any short-term changes to your terms of employment (e.g. leave, wages) as a result of your rehabilitation
- any training needs that could help you
- any potential triggers within your role that could create additional stress, harm or prevent recovery
- details of the supervisors or the managers who are responsible for monitoring progress of the return to work plan
- dates of regular meetings to discuss progress and changes to the plan if needed.
Where to find out more
Your state or territory WorkSafe or workers compensation authority also offers information and advice about workplace safety, workers compensation, worker assist programs, and return to work:
Brooke Russell, Principal Occupational Therapist, WA Cancer Occupational Therapy, WA; Bianca Alessi, 13 11 20 Consultant, Cancer Council SA; Dr Prunella Blinman, Medical Oncologist, Concord Cancer Centre, Concord Repatriation General Hospital, NSW; James Chirgwin, Physiotherapist, The Wesley Hospital, QLD; Danielle Curnoe, Consumer; Simon Gates, Barrister, Tasmanian Bar, TAS; Justin Hargreaves, Medical Oncology Nurse Practitioner, Bendigo Health Cancer Centre, VIC; Kaylene Jacques, Director, People and Communications, Cancer Council NSW; Alex Kelly, Senior People Attraction Advisor, Human Resources, Allianz Australia Insurance, NSW; Legal reviewer; Georgina Lohse, Social Worker, GV Health, VIC; Lesley McQuire, Consumer, Cancer Voices NSW.
View the Cancer Council NSW editorial policy.
Exercise and cancer
Exercise has many benefits both during and after cancer treatment, helping with side effects, speeding up recovery, and improving quality of life