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

Dr. Monique Gignac

IWH’s Dr. Monique Gignac recognized for arthritis-related research service work

Congratulations to IWH Senior Scientist and Scientific Co-Director Dr. Monique Gignac. In early November, the American College of Rheumatology/Association of Rheumatology Professions (ARP) named her a recipient of one of its 2019 service awards. The ARP Addie Thomas award recognizes an association member who has been an active volunteer involved with local, regional, national and/or international arthritis-related activities. 

Find out about the award
wooden letter tiles spell out the word "review"

Proposed new CSA standard on work disability management now open for feedback

Currently, no national or international standard is available to help Canadian employers achieve excellence in their work disability management systems. A research team, which includes IWH Senior Scientist and Centre for Research on Work Disability Policy (CRWDP) Director Dr. Emile Tompa, has been working with the CSA Group to change that. A new proposed standard on work disability prevention management systems—the CSA Z1011 standard—is now available for public review and comment. The deadline for feedback is December 8.

Find out more at the CRWDP website
A drawing of a man pulling on the cork stopper off a bottle

Supervisors and case managers report more RTW communication bottlenecks: study

Disability management depends on good communication. In large and complex organizations, communication breakdowns about return to work (RTW) tend to concentrate around two key roles: front-line supervisors and case managers. That’s according to an IWH study of communication bottlenecks in disability management.

See the findings
Two workers at a window shutters manufacturing shop floor

When do older workers with chronic conditions plan to retire?

Having a health condition or a chronic disease can be challenging for older workers, but it doesn’t necessarily decrease their intention to work or hasten their retirement. According to an IWH study on retirement expectations, with appropriate policies and practices, older workers with health limitations can be supported to remain active in the labour force.

Read about the study
A collage of portraits of diverse workers

New website offers workplace information on accommodating and communicating about episodic disabilities

Accommodating and Communicating about Episodic Disabilities (ACED), a five-year partnership led by the Institute for Work & Health (IWH), is developing evidence-based workplace resources to support the sustained employment of people with chronic, intermittent and often-invisible disabilities (e.g. depression, arthritis, HIV/AIDs, Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, multiple sclerosis and more). Today, IWH launched a website to share information about the ACED project, the partners involved, and the findings and tools as they become available.

See this brand new website