4 in 5 Canadians believe employers responsible for health: Study

Clear relationship between health, productivity

A new report suggests the majority of Canadians believe their bosses are responsible for supporting their physical and psychological health.

On Nov. 12, Sun Life Financial Canada released its annual Canadian Health Index — a report that measures attitudes on health and well-being — which determined 84 per cent of those surveyed felt employers should bear the physical health care responsibility, while 86 per cent said the same about psychological health.

Kevin Dougherty, President of Sun Life Financial Canada, called the result “striking.”

When compared by age, younger workers felt the strongest that their employer should bear the physical and psychological health burden, with two out of five Generation Y (aged 18 to 30) respondents agreeing — higher than any other group.

The study also found a clear relationship between health and employee productivity. Of those surveyed, more than one-third said their productivity at work had been negatively impacted by their physical or mental health in the six months leading up to the release.

Again, Generation Y respondents were most likely to report such an experience. When weighted against older counterparts, 47 per cent of younger workers reported a dip in productivity, compared to 30 per cent of “late boomers” (aged 48 to 57) and 26 per cent of “early boomers” (aged 58 to 66).

Sun Life’s Canadian Health Index is basd on findings of an Ipsos Reid poll conducted over one week in June and deals with a sample of 2,404 Canadians aged 18 to 80.

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