Turning challenges into opportunities

Formalization, integration key elements of effective disability management programs
By Dianne Dyck
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 03/06/2017

Having too many employee absences can weaken an employer’s foundation, leading to concerns over smooth business operation and a strong and consistent workplace culture. But there are ways to minimize the impact of the bumps in the road caused by absences and modified work from employee disabilities — such as effective disability management programs.

Only a few Canadian employers know the real cost of disability. Just 54 per cent track employee casual absences, according to a 2013 Conference Board of Canada report, while only 27 per cent track employee disabilities, according to a 2007 survey by Hewitt Associates. And even fewer employers (22 per cent) use that information to determine the related costs, outcomes and impact, according to a 2011 Towers-Watson survey. Hence, only a small number of employers use targeted prevention and mitigation strategies to effectively address medical absences.

So, let’s look at potential obstacles: