Work disability is an issue that touches most people at some point over their lifetime. Increasingly, policy-makers, employers, labour organizations, disability communities and academics are realizing that labour force productivity and output are contingent on the inclusion of all adults who can and want to work, regardless of ability status. But the backdrop of this recognition is a fragmented Canadian work disability policy system, comprised of a variety of support programs that were developed in a different historical context and to meet different needs. Due to conflicting requirements across different programs such as social assistance, workers’ compensation and employment insurance, people are shuffled from one to another and often fall through the cracks.
In this plenary IWH senior scientists Drs. Emile Tompa and Ellen MacEachen describe the new Centre for Research in Work Disability Policy, recently launched to address work disability policy challenges through a seven-year SSHRC Partners grant. They describe the centre’s mandate and how it's organized to create a new generation of research on work disability policy.