Workplace disability management

More and more Canadian workplaces are setting up accommodation and return-to-work (RTW) programs to help ensure employees with work-related and non-work-related injuries and illnesses are able to remain at work or return to work as quickly as they are safely able to do so. The Institute for Work & Health (IWH) conducts extensive research into the workplace policies and procedures that most effectively help workers safely remain at and return to work, as well as system-level programs (e.g. those offered by workers’ compensation boards) that support workplaces in doing so. This research also explores life-course issues, work disability trajectories, RTW prognostic factors, and the scope and impact of chronic, episodic and other conditions that are not necessarily caused by work, but affect the ability of people to find and keep work.

Latest news and findings

Close-up of two pairs of hands, belong to a counsellor and a patient sitting on a couch

Access to mental health services among workers with physical injuries

Among workers with a compensation claim for a work-related musculoskeletal injury, 30 per cent also experience a serious mental condition. However, a minority of these workers receive treatment for their mental health conditions, according to an Institute for Work & Health study conducted in Australia.

Read the summary
A woman studies data and charts projected on a screen

IWH Speaker Series presentation: Introducing a new CSA standard on work disability management systems

On February 4, CRWDP director and IWH Senior Scientist Dr. Emile Tompa introduces a new standard created by the CSA Group, in conjunction with the Centre for Research on Work Disability Policy (CRWDP) and Conestoga College. At the IWH Speaker Series presentation, Tompa discusses how the Work Disability Management Systems Standard (CSA Z1011) sets out best practices on injury/illness rehabilitation, return-to-work plans, and accommodation of workers with disabilities.

Sign up for the presentation
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
A large group of seniors looking at camera

Comparing employment patterns of older workers in four countries

In many developed countries, including Canada, encouraging older workers to stay in the workforce is a common policy goal. But what do we know about current work participation patterns among people aged 65 to 75? A new study involving IWH looks at data in Canada, the United Kingdom, Denmark and Sweden.

Read about the study
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