Disability management programs: Challenges turned opportunities

Formalization and integration key elements of an effective disability management program for organizations
By Dianne Dyck
|Canadian Employment Law Today|Last Updated: 01/04/2017

Canadian employers face a number of challenges in managing employee medical absences and disability. Some challenges stem from their leadership, business practices and work culture; some from societal conditions and pressures along with demographic influences. Occupational health and safety specialist Dianne Dyck discusses best practices in managing absences and accommodation related to employee disabilities.

Too many employee absences can weaken an employer’s foundation, leaving concerns over smooth business operation and a strong and consistent workplace culture. But there are ways employers can minimize the impact of the inevitable bumps in the road caused by absences and modified work that employee disabilities can present — such as effective disability management programs (DMPs).

According to Statistics Canada, in 2015 unionized full-time employees missed 1.9 times more workdays than their non-union counterparts. Public sector employees missed 1.6 times more workdays (12.7) than employees in the private sector (7.8). Women missed more workdays (11.1) than men (7.3). These findings are historically consistent.