Health Benefits of Good Work®

The Health Benefits of Good Work® (HBGW) is an initiative from the Australasian Faculty of Occupational and Environmental Medicine (AFOEM) of The Royal Australasian College of Physicians (RACP). This initiative is based on compelling Australasian and international evidence that good work is beneficial to people’s health and wellbeing and that long term work absence, work disability and unemployment generally have a negative impact on health and wellbeing.

AFOEM has produced a number of policy documents which outline this evidence and the HBGW philosophy more broadly including:

More HBGW Resources

The RACP and AFOEM are committed to advancing the HBGW philosophy across the health and industry sectors. To this end, AFOEM is establishing a number of committees to progress this initiative across stakeholder groups.

The HBGW Stakeholder Executive Group

AFOEM established the HBGW Stakeholder Executive Group in September 2014 to determine the strategic direction for the implementation of the Health Benefits of Good Work® into the industry and health sectors to advance AFOEM's policy in this area.

To develop and implement coordinated initiatives two Signatory Steering Groups were formed — one in Australia and one in Aotearoa New Zealand. Both report to the HBGW Stakeholder Executive Group.

The HBGW Australian Signatories Steering Group

In January 2015, a Signatory Steering Group (HBGW Australian SSG) was established in Australia. The Australian SSG comprises 34 members from a range of stakeholders including statutory authorities, healthcare organisations, re/insurers and national employers. Members were selected following a competitive Expression of Interest process open to all Australian signatories to the Consensus Statement.

The purpose of the HBGW Australian SSG is to further champion the integration of the HBGW policy agenda in the industry sector. It has developed into a forum to share information and collaborate on initiatives that will enable organisations to implement HBOW programs as well as champion improvements throughout industry.

All member organisations have agreed to contribute to:

  • implementing strategies developed by the HBGW Stakeholder Executive Group
  • progressing the integration of the health benefits of good work policy agenda as set out in the Consensus and Position Statements across stakeholder groups with a focus on industry sectors and government authorities
  • facilitating growth of the Consensus Statement signatory base
  • contributing to the HBGW evidence base
  • supporting advocacy for continuous improvement in public policy around work and health through ongoing structured and formalised dialogue
  • identifying exemplar organisations, sharing information and collaborating on initiatives that enable organisations to implement HBGW programs
  • championing policy improvements within industry
  • working collectively and in partnership to safeguard the integrity of the HBGW initiative

Current HBGW Australian SSG Membership

Abilita Services Pty Ltd
Active Occupational Health Services
Allianz Australia Insurance Ltd
AMP Financial Services 
Australian Institute of Health and Safety (AIHS)
Australian Rehabilitation Provider Association (ARPA)
Australian Society of Rehabilitation Counsellors (ASORC)
Financial Services Council (FSC)
Heads of Workers’ Compensation Authorities (HWCA)
JK Corporate Resourcing
Motor Accidents Insurance Schemes (MAIS) 
National Employment Services Association (NESA)
NSW Fire & Rescue
Police Association of NSW
Prestige Health Services Australia
Procare Group
RECOVER Injury Research Centre
Rehab Co
Rehabilitation Counselling Association of Australasia (RCAA)
Royal Australasian College of General Practitioners (RACGP)
Royal Australasian College of Physicians (RACP)
Swiss Re
The Reject Shop Limited
Virgin Australia
WCD – Workers Compensation Solutions Pty Ltd 
Zone Workplace Health

The HBGW Aotearoa New Zealand Signatories Steering Group

AFOEM has established the HBGW Aotearoa New Zealand Signatories' Steering Group (AoNZ SSG). This provides a unique opportunity for trans-Tasman collaboration to spread the Health Benefits of Good Work® message across both countries.

Australian Health Benefits of Good Work Signatories Steering Group - Harnessing the Health Benefits of Good Work

Consensus Statements, HBGW Charter of Principles and Signatories

Health Benefits of Good Work® Australian and Aotearoa New Zealand consensus statement

The purpose of the Health Benefits of Good Work Consensus Statement is to bring together a wide range of stakeholder signatories, who each affirm the importance of work as a determinant of health and commit to:

  • promoting an understanding of good work and its associated health benefits
  • offering support and encouragement to those attempting to access the Health Benefits of Good Work™
  • encouraging all participants to support workplace health
  • advocating for continuous improvement in public policy around work and health, consistent with the principles articulated above.

Charter of HBGW Principles

AFOEM has developed the Health Benefits of Good Work Charter of Principles (2018) (DOC) which draws out the key principles from the HBGW philosophy. This Charter is intended for all Signatories to display in their own facilities to reaffirm their commitment to the principles outlined in the Consensus Statement and companion position statements and the importance good work can play in contributing to people’s health and wellbeing.

Current HBGW signatories

Australian signatories

Abilita Services Pty Ltd
Access Psych
ACT Government, Minister for Industrial Relations
Actevate Pty Ltd
Active Occupational Health Services
Adaptive Workplace Solutions
Advanced Personnel Management
Adult Medicine Division of the RACP
AF Occupational Therapy
AIA Australia
AimBig Employment
Alcoa of Australia
Allied Health Professionals Australia
Alpha Injury Management
Altius Group
AMA South Australia
AMP Life
AMS Consulting
Anglican Care
Arriba Group
Artius Group
Association of Self Insured Employers of Queensland
Atlantis Healthcare
Australasian College of Sports Physicians
Australasian Faculty of Public Health Medicine
Australasian Faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine
Australasian Society of Aerospace Medicine
Australia Post
Australian and New Zealand Society of Occupational Medicine
Australian Association of Occupational Therapists
Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine
Australian Counselling Association
Australian Federal Police
Australian Institute of Health and Safety
Australian Institute of Occupational Hygienists Inc.
Australian Life Underwriters and Claims Association
Australian Medico Legal Group
Australian Osteopathic Association
Australian Physiotherapy Association
Australian Psychological Services
Australian Psychological Society
Australian Recovery Centres
Australian Red Cross
Australian Rehabilitation Providers Association
Australian Society of Rehabilitation Counsellors
AustralianSuper Pty Ltd
AXIS Rehabilitation at work
Back2Work Solutions
Banyan Work Health Solutions
Benchmark OT Pty Ltd
Beneficent Pty Ltd
Black Dog Institute
Bodycare Workplace Solutions
Brisbane ACT Centre
BRS Consulting
BTP Group
Business Council of Australia
Care Connected Pty Ltd
Career Industry Council of Australia
Career Partner Plus Inc
Centre for Inclusive Design
Changing Ways Consulting
Chiropractic & Osteopathic College of Australia, The
Chiropractors' Association of Australia
Claims Pharmacy
Clayton Utz
ClearView Wealth Limited
Coal Services Pty Limited
Coastal Rehab
Committee of Presidents of Medical Colleges
Company Medical Services Pty Ltd
Compass Group
Compensation Assistance Services
Cortex Solutions Pty Ltd
Craig's Table
Custodian Work Assist
Damik Consulting
Direct Health Solutions
Edge People Management
Effect Exercise Physiology
Employers Mutual Limited
Ergosmart Consulting
Essential Energy
Estia Health
Evolution Workplace Solutions
Exercise & Sports Science Australia
Financial Services Council
Fire & Rescue NSW
Focus on Recovery - FORE
Ford Health
Gallagher Bassett Services Pty Ltd
General Reinsurance Life Australia Ltd
Guardian Exercise Rehabilitation
Hallwood Consulting Services
Headsmart Psychology
Headway Psychology & Workplace Services
Health and Productivity Institute of Australia
HR Development at Work
Hunter Industrial Medicine
Human Factors and Ergonomics Society of Australia (HFESA)
IMO (Independent Medical Opinion) Pty Ltd
IMR (Injury Management and Rehabilitation)
IMS Organisational Consulting
Incite Solutions Group
Industrial Health and Research Foundation t/a Workers Health Centre
Injury and Mediation Interventions
Injury Prevention Plus
Injury Treatment Pty Ltd
InMotion Rehab
IOH Injury and Occupational Health
IPAR Rehabilitation
JK Corporate Resourcing
Jobfit Health Group
JobFit Systems International
JTA Health, Safety & Noise Specialists
Justitia Lawyers and Consultants
Keystone Professionals
Kmart Australia Ltd
Konekt Australia Pty Ltd
KPMG Australia
Lifeworks Health Services
Life Without Barriers
LIME Medicolegal
Live OHS Consulting
Lucent Health Services
Me and Work Pty Ltd
MedHealth Group
Medibank Health Solutions
Medicins Legale
Mend Services
MindSense Occupational Psychiatry
Momentum Rehabilitation Pty Ltd
Motor Accidents Insurance Board
MTC Australia
MSVS Consultancy
Munich Re
National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation
National Council of Self Insurers Inc
National Employment Services Association
North Queensland Therapy Services
Northern Health
Northern Territory Road Transport Association
NSW Police Force
NSW Police Legacy
NT Worksafe
OccuHealth Pty Ltd
OccuMED Consulting
Occupational Consultants
On Track Occupational Therapy
One Life. Live It.
OnePath Life Limited
ORS Group
Osteopathy Australia
P2 Group
Perceptive Health
Personnel Placement Consultancies
Phoenix Occupational Medicine Pty Ltd
Phoenix Pain Management Group
PHW Group
Pinnacle Rehab
Police Association of NSW
Police Federation of Australia
Prestige Health Services Australia
Priority Care Health Solutions
Procare Group
Prudence Rehab
PsyFlex Pty Ltd
Public Health Association of Australia
Public Services Assocation of NSW
Purple Co
Qantas Group
Queensland Government Office of Industrial Relations
Recover Injury Research Centre
Recovery Partners
Rehab Management
Rehabilitation Counselling Association of Australasia
Rehabilitation Injury Management (RIM) Aust. P/L
Rehabilitation Services Pty Limited
Resilia Pty Ltd
RGA Reinsurance Group of Australia Limited
RHM Consultants
Rice Warner
Royal Australasian College of Physicians
Royal Australasian College of Surgeons
Royal Australian & New Zealand College of Psychiatrists
Royal Australian College of General Practitioners
Safety, Rehabilitation & Compensation Licensees Association Inc.
SafetyWorks Group
SafeWork Australia
SafeWork NSW
SCOR Global Life Australia Pty Limited
Self Insurers of South Australia Inc
Self Insurers Association of Tasmania Inc
Serco Australia
SGIC Insurance
SICorp (NSW Self Insurance Corporation)
Silver Chain Group
SIS Rehab
Site Safety - Be Safe
Sonic HealthPlus
Specialised Health Group
Staunch Technology
Star Injury Management Service
StateCover Mutual Limited
State Insurance Regulatory Authority (SIRA)
Strive Occupational Rehabilitation
Sustain Consulting
Swiss Re
Sydney Airport Corporation
Sydney Occupational Services Pty Ltd
TAL Life Ltd
Tas Ergonomic Collaborative
Thales Australia 
The CIM Group
The Health Advantage
The Interact Group
The Reject Shop Limited
The Suncorp Group
The Tasmanian Association of Vocational Rehabilitation Providers Inc.
Threesticks Pty Ltd
Thrive Re Consulting
Transport Accident Commission
Unified Healthcare Group Pty Ltd (UHG)
Uplift Exercise Physiology
Virgin Australia
VIM Group
Viva! Health at Work
WCD - Workers' Compensation Solutions Pty Ltd
Western Sydney Local Health District (WSLHD)
Wise Therapy
Work Able Consulting
WorkAble Solutions
Workcom Pty Ltd
WorkCover Queensland
WorkCover Tasmania
WorkCover WA
Workers Health Centre
Workforce Group
Work Health Group
Work Health Safety Matters Pty Ltd
Work Health Systems
Working Life - Organisational Consultants 
Work Options
Workplace Rehabilitation Management
Work Ready Group
WorkSafe Victoria
WorkSafe WA
Work Rehab
Zeal Health Pty Ltd
Zone Workplace Health

Aotearoa New Zealand signatories

Accident Compensation Corporation
AIA New Zealand
Asteron Life
Australian and New Zealand Society of Occupational Medicine
Blueprint, The Wise Group
Business Leaders' Health & Safety Forum
Business New Zealand
College of Nurses Aotearoa (NZ)
Council of Medical Colleges in New Zealand
Direct Health Solutions
Employers and Manufacturers Association
Employers' Disability Network
Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union (New Zealand)
FairWay Resolution Limited
Financial Services Council of NZ
Fit For Work Ltd
General Reinsurance Life Australia Ltd - (New Zealand)
Human Resources Institute of New Zealand
Institution of Professional Engineers NZ
Investment, Savings and Insurance Association
Life and Disability Underwriters Association Auckland
Life and Disability Underwriters Association Wellington
Maori Health Development Organisation - Tui Ora
Maori Medical Practitioners Association - Te ORA
Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE)
Ministry of Health
Ministry of Social Development
New Zealand Association of Accredited Employers
New Zealand College of Public Health Medicine
New Zealand Council of Trade Unions
New Zealand Disability Support Network
New Zealand Institute of Safety Management
New Zealand Medical Association (NZMA)
New Zealand Nurses Organisation
New Zealand Occupational Health Nurses Association
New Zealand Orthopaedic Association
New Zealand Physiotherapy Society
New Zealand Public Service Association
New Zealand Rehabilitation Association
New Zealand Rheumatology Association
New Zealand Private Physiotherapists Association
NZ Dairy Workers Union Te Runanga Wai U
NZ Rural General Practice Network
Occupational Therapy New Zealand
Pathways, The Wise Group
Presbyterian Support Northern
Royal Australasian College of Physicians
Royal Australian & New Zealand College of Psychiatrists 
Royal New Zealand College of General Practitioners
Social Enterprise Ltd, The Wise Group
Te Pou, The Wise Group
The College of Urgent Care Physicians (CUCP)
The New Zealand King Salmon Co. Ltd.
The Suncorp Group
Worksafe New Zealand 

Health Benefits of Good Work® signatories can find the Health Benefits of Good Work® logo (JPG) here.

Become a HBGW signatory organisation

How to become a signatory flyer

Apply Online

Spread the HBGW message

The Faculty continues to grow the Health Benefits of Good Work signatory list and welcomes your support. Please distribute and promote the Consensus Statements widely and add them to your own website to spread the word!

Consensus Statement on the Health Benefits of Good Work 2017 

Australian HBGW Signatories Steering Group flyer 

The role of General Practitioners

Whilst Occupational and Environmental Physicians (OEPs) provide specialist knowledge to ensure a healthy, productive workforce and connect a workplace with the diverse range of health services necessary to optimise the health and wellbeing of employees, most often, the care of injured or ill workers is managed day-to-day by General Practitioners (GPs) who play a key role in assisting them return to work. As such, GPs are well placed to advise and educate workers that, in most cases, a focus on return to work is in their best interest - for both their future quality of life and that of their family.

Return to work is not possible for everyone, but certifying time off work - particularly when absence is long term - can have significant side effects, including increased rates of overall mortality, poorer physical health and poorer mental health and psychological well being.

Simple messages delivered in the clinical environment can encourage workers to develop evidence-based views of the relationship between health and work.

Evidence-based messages:

  • The longer someone is off work, the less chance they have of ever returning
  • Most common health conditions will not be ‘cured' by treatment
  • Good work is a therapeutic intervention, it is part of treatment
  • Typically, waiting for recovery delays recovery
  • Staying away from work may lead to depression, isolation and poorer health, and
  • Employer-supported, early return to work helps recovery, prevents de-conditioning and helps provide patients with appropriate social contacts and support mechanisms.

Practical ways of assisting patients back to employment and optimum functioning include:

  • Recommending a graduated increase in activity and setting a timeline for return to work where practicable
  • Talking to the employer (preferably while the patient is with you), especially about how to modify the workplace and work duties to allow return to work
  • Collaboratively identifying obstacles and solutions in the workplace
  • Being clear about what health care can and can not achieve, and
  • Identifying possible sources of support, including family members, co-workers and relevant government services.

Read the What is Good Work? Position Statement (2013)

More information

Contact us
Policy & Advocacy Policy Priorities
Policy and Advocacy Library

Close overlay