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

Two grey-haired workers have a discussion

What an aging workforce means for injury and RTW outcomes

As the average age of Canadian workers continues to rise, employers may wonder about the effects on work injury, recovery, return to work and remaining at work. Some may expect that risks of injury are higher among older workers, that their injuries are more severe, or that timelines to recover and return to work are longer. However, findings from recent studies, including several conducted at IWH, paint a more nuanced picture. We summarized the evidence in an article published this spring in the Ontario Occupational Health Nurses Association (OOHNA) Journal.

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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.  

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5 things we think you should know about RTW promo image

5 things we think you should know about RTW

Ground your return-to-work programs and policies on evidence. Every April, the Institute for Work & Health (IWH) highlights five research findings from the previous year that we think can make a difference to workplace injury and disability prevention programs. We now unveil a new variation, "5 things we think you should know about RTW." It sums up five recommendations for improving your return-to-work and stay-at-work practices, based on recent research from IWH.  

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Dr. Arif Jetha

IWH associate scientist a recipient of Ottawa's New Frontiers in Research Fund

Congratulations to IWH Associate Scientist Dr. Arif Jetha, who has been awarded a grant from the Government of Canada's New Frontiers in Research Fund. The grant, announced this week, will support Jetha in a new research project examining the future of work and how the changing labour market may impact young people with disabilities.

Find out more about the project
Highway sign reads Join our Team

Now hiring: Strategic foresight specialist for a one-year project coordinator contract

The Institute is seeking a strategic foresight specialist for a project coordinator position. This person will work on a federally funded research project examining the future of work for young people with disabilities. The Canadian labour market is undergoing a substantial shift with the rise of automation and precarious work. What are the implications for young people with disabilities, who already face barriers accessing the labour market? 

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