Strengthening disability management in Ontario’s municipal sector

Reasons for the study

Ontario’s municipalities employ more than 25,000 people. Thus, improving the quality and consistency of current disability management practices in the province’s municipal sector would benefit many by reducing the number of avoidable disability days. These are days of work absence due to delays in return-to-work planning and implementation, and delays in establishing suitable accommodations and modified work. In this project, the research team is partnering with at least six Ontario municipalities over a two-year period to audit and benchmark disability management practices, with the goal of identifying innovative solutions that have the potential to reduce avoidable disability days.

Objectives of the study

Municipal employers and unions representing the municipal labour force across Canada may want to apply lessons learned about improving disability management practices. Other audiences, such as policy-makers in provincial workers’ compensation authorities, disability benefit trusts and private-sector disability insurance plans, and labour representatives in the public sector may also find the knowledge arising from this research useful.

Project status


Research team

Cameron Mustard, Institute for Work & Health
Arif Jetha, Institute for Work & Health
Agnieszka Kosny, Institute for Work & Health
Morgan Lay, Institute for Work & Health
Christopher McLeod, Institute for Work & Health
Lynda Robson, Institute for Work & Health
Basak Yanar, Institute for Work & Health

Participating organizations

National Institute for Disability Management and Research
Ontario Municipal Human Resources Association
Public Services Health and Safety Association

Funded by

Canadian Institutes of Health Research and Social Sciences Humanities Research Council Signature Initiative