Immigrant status, gender and work disability duration: findings from a linked, retrospective cohort of workers' compensation and immigration data from British Columbia, Canada

Publication type
Journal article
Saffari N, Senthanar S, Koehoorn M, McGrail K, McLeod CB
Date published
2021 Dec 01
BMJ Open
Open Access?

OBJECTIVES: To compare differences in work disability durations of immigrant men and women injured at work to comparable Canadian-born injured workers in British Columbia, Canada. METHODS: Data on accepted workers compensation claims and immigration status from 1995 and 2012 were used to compare the number of work disability days paid at the 25%, 50% and 75% for immigrant and Canadian-born injured workers stratified by gender and recency of immigration. RESULTS: Immigrant workers comprised 8.9% (78 609) of the cohort. In adjusted quantile regression models, recent and established immigrant women received 1.3 (0.8, 1.9) and 4.0 (3.4, 4.6) more paid disability days at the 50% of the disability distribution than Canadian-born counterparts. For recent and established immigrant men, this difference was 2.4 (2.2, 2.6) and 2.7 (2.4, 4.6). At the 75%, this difference increased for recent immigrant men and established immigrant men and women but declined for recent immigrant women. CONCLUSIONS: Injured immigrants receive more work disability days than their Canadian-born counterparts except for recent immigrant women. Both immigrant status and gender matter in understanding health disparities in work disability after work injury. KEYWORDS WORK DISABILITY: immigrant health; linked administrative data