Compensation and benefit policy

When workers are injured or people with disabilities are unable to work, they usually turn to compensation and benefit systems for the income and other supports they need to deal with the physical, emotional and financial consequences of the injury or illness. Like most benefit payment systems, Canada’s workers’ compensation and disability support systems are complex and sometimes give rise to disputes. Institute for Work & Health (IWH) research in this area aims to help point the way forward by finding out what is working (and what is not) in the world of public- and private-sector disability support programs, including workers’ compensation, public pension and unemployment programs for people with disabilities.

Latest news and findings

A worker in a wheelchair sits with colleagues in a busy office

Pan-Canadian strategy on disability and work unveiled at conference

After two years of extensive consultation with a host of stakeholders, the pan-Canadian strategy on greater inclusion of people with disabilities in the labour market is now out. The strategy was unveiled in December at the 2019 Disability and Work in Canada Conference, where participants looked ahead for opportunities to make progress with concrete, achievable initiatives.

Read about the strategy
Wooden blocks spell out the words 'fair,' and 'yes or no?'

Claimants’ perceptions of fair treatment linked to lower odds of mental illness

Previous studies have suggested that the process of making a workers’ compensation claim is linked with poorer mental health. A new study by IWH examines the contribution of one aspect of the process: the interactions between injured workers and case managers. As summed up in At Work, the findings of this study drive home the importance of treating claimants respectfully and giving them the information they need.

Read in the Fall 2019 issue of At Work

When and how do financial incentives work to encourage the hiring of people with disabilities?

Wage subsidies and other financial supports are widely used by Canadian governments to encourage employers to hire people with disabilities. Yet, employers, disability advocates, service providers and people with disabilities hold strong and often polarized views about the merits of these incentives. What's more, the research on the effectiveness of these policy instruments is surprisingly scarce. That's why an IWH team, in a new research project, is setting out to produce guidelines and resources on best use of financial incentives.  

Read about this project
Hand holding magnifying glass over words occupational cancer

IWH applauds appointment of occupational cancer expert to lead review

The Institute for Work & Health (IWH) congratulates Ontario Minister of Labour Laurie Scott for her appointment of Dr. Paul Demers, director of the Occupational Cancer Research Centre in Toronto, to lead a review of the scientific evidence on the role of workplace exposures in causing cancers among Ontario workers. In a letter to the Minister, IWH President Cam Mustard says he expects the review will have influence in provincial jurisdictions across Canada.

Read the letter
A man in a wheelchair reviewing documents

Draft strategy on improving employment of people with disabilities now available for feedback

Public consultation is now under way on a draft strategy for building an inclusive workforce—one where people with and without disabilities have the same choices in their jobs and careers. The organizations behind the draft strategy, hosts of the Disability and Work in Canada 2018 conference held last December in Ottawa, are hoping to gather input on the document from as many perspectives as possible.

Find out more