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

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Arthritis advocacy organization develops resources with IWH research

For the three in five Canadians with arthritis who are of working age, a diagnosis can have considerable impact on work. The Canadian Arthritis Patient Alliance (CAPA), a Canada-wide, patient-driven grassroots organization, recently developed a set of resources for patients on managing the condition at work. To develop the resources, CAPA surveyed its members on employment needs and integrated research, including studies conducted by IWH. The Institute’s Dr Arif Jetha, especially, worked closely with CAPA to provide the evidence behind the messages. 

Find the resources
A professional woman pushes an older person in a wheelchair in the outdoors

News release: women experience more work disruptions due to eldercare

The burden of caring for an older relative falls more on women than on men, and it’s showing up in women's higher rates of work disruption. According to a new Institute for Work & Health study, women are more likely than men to stop working, to work part-time or to take time off work during the week due to eldercare. The open access study is published in the Journals of Gerontology.  

Read the news release
A tired worker holds her head in her hands as she sits at her desk in a dark office

What supports, and how much, do boomers with chronic diseases need?

Older workers with diabetes or arthritis experience more fatigue and pain. But how different are they from healthy older workers in their need for, and use of, workplace accommodation and supports? An open access IWH study examined this question. It also looked at differences in work outcomes when people have access to supports when they’re needed.

Read about the study
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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
Stylized photo of executive showing improvement over time on graph

RTW outcomes improve after WSIB implements two of IWH’s Seven Principles in regional assessment service

In 2013, Ontario’s Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) put two of IWH’s Seven ‘Principles’ for Successful Return to Work into practice when it introduced changes to the medical assessment service offered at its Regional Evaluation Centres. The new service integrates return-to-work (RTW) planning and enhances communication among health-care providers, the WSIB and the employer, with the worker’s participation. In a new impact case study, we look at the difference in recovery and RTW outcomes after the changes were put in place.

Read the impact case study