Disability Management: Opportunities for Employer Action

The Conference Board of Canada, 63 pages, October 2013
Report by Louise Chenier, Karla Thorpe
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This report offers the perspectives of employees and supervisors on their organizations’ disability management programs, and provides employers with advice and guidance on how to manage absenteeism more effectively.

Document Highlights

Disability Management: Opportunities for Employer Action explores how employers can avoid employee absences by implementing prevention initiatives, wellness programs and supports, stay-at-work programs, and appropriate accommodation and return-to-work practices. The report also presents information on the types of disability management practices in place in Canadian workplaces, including sick leave and disability coverage. The research is based on a national survey, which was conducted by The Conference Board of Canada between February and March 2013 of 2,004 individuals currently employed on either a part- or full-time basis, including 727 front line managers who supervise or manage other people in the workplace. The research highlights the actual experiences of employees who have taken a short- or long-term leave of absence from work and the front line managers, who are responsible for supporting these employees.

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Table of Contents

Executive Summary

Chapter 1—Introduction

  • Purpose of the Report

Chapter 2—Disability Prevention

  • Accident Prevention and Safety Programs
  • Identifying and Addressing Physical and Psychological Hazards in the Workplace

Chapter 3—Wellness Programs and Supports

  • Programs Offered to Support Employees’Physical and Mental Health
  • Employee Knowledge of How to Access Supports
  • Efficacy of Supports
  • Assisting Employees Most in Need

Chapter 4—Stay-at-Work Programs

  • Stay-at-Work Program Design
  • Prevalence of Stay-at-Work Programs
  • Employee Uptake of Stay-at-Work Programs

Chapter 5—Sick Leave and Disability Coverage

  • Employee Coverage for Medical Absences
  • Benefit Coverage

Chapter 6—Disability Management Practices

  • Written Procedures for Medical Leaves
  • Nature of Policies
  • Adherence to Policies
  • Communicating Disability Management Policies and Procedures

Chapter 7—The Employee Experience

  • Prevalence of Health-Related Leaves of Absence From Work
  • Type of Health-Related Leaves of Absence From Work
  • Length of Health-Related Leaves of Absence From Work
  • Difficulties in Getting Medical Treatment When an Employee Experiences Health Issues
  • Could the Leave of Absence From Work Have Been Avoided?
  • Medical Information Provided by Employees During a Leave of Absence From Work
  • Challenges Faced by Employees to Provide Regular Medical Information
  • The Use of Independent Medical Examinations
  • Remaining in Contact While the Employee Is on Leave
  • Impact of Medical Leave on Career Success

Chapter 8—The Role of Managers in Effective Disability Management

  • Preparing Managers for Their Role
  • Are Managers Equipped to Support Employees?

Chapter 9—Accommodation and Return to Work

  • Return to Work

Chapter 10—Conclusion

Appendix A—Methodology and Respondent Profile

Appendix B—Bibliography

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