The future of workers’ compensation: How workers’ compensation organizations are improving return to work outcomes

New approaches lead to better worker experiences, and business benefits

Globally, workers’ compensation organizations are dealing with rapidly-changing economic, socio-cultural, and political landscapes. They must also navigate challenges posed by shifts in the nature of work and rising customer expectations. In this highly dynamic market, Workers’ Compensation Organizations (WCOs) are adjusting their approaches to empower injured workers, and improve their return to work (RTW) outcomes.

Based on an international survey of 18 WCOs in Canada, the United States, and Australia, our report highlights the actions that WCOs are taking, not only to enable improvements to recovery and to the experiences of injured workers, but also to achieve internal business benefits. The report outlines ways that WCOs can improve outcomes and prepare for the future by:

  • Adopting risk-based segmentation and a more holistic approach to case classification, to ensure that workers have access to appropriate resources
  • Implementing standardized RTW plans to reduce delivery time and increase consistency
  • Designing case management team structures that efficiently deploy the skillsets needed to support each case
  • Focusing on prevention to reduce the risk of workplace injuries
  • Leveraging behavioural economics to use techniques such as “nudging” in support of personalized, targeted interventions


Debra Sandomirsky
Leader, Workers’ Compensation

Lasith Lansakara
Leader, Workers’ Compensation and Claims Operations

Connor Mahony
Senior Consultant, Consulting

Deepthi Sundararajan
Senior Consultant, Consulting

Morgan Liu
Consultant, Consulting

Alex Knab
Consultant, Consulting

The leadership and authoring team expresses their gratitude to the subject matter experts from Deloitte Australia who contributed their valuable perspectives among others:

Berin Wallace
Sam Fuller
Niki Appleton
Alan Eckstein

This report is dedicated to the memory of Nerses Sanassian

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