Mental health absenteeism threatens to break disability bank

HR should set up an infrastructure for early intervention and a program to address challenges arising for employees returning to work
By Paula Allen
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 03/22/2004


here’s good news as well as bad news in the field of disability management. The good news is more employers than ever have access to disability management programs. The bad news is employer costs due to health-related absenteeism are rising rapidly. Disability management programs once had a positive impact on costs, but they are not as effective as they were. Why? And what can be done?

The why is straightforward: Most programs were designed to manage physical problems. However, there’s an increasing number of mental health claims and claims that are influenced by non-medical factors such as conflicts between co-workers. Disability management guidelines do not help resolve problems such as performance or personality conflicts.