The Importance of a Disability Management Program

Dec 02, 2013

Numerous disability studies conducted over the last decade in Canada demonstrate that after just three short months, the likelihood of returning to work is diminished to 50%.  Even worse, after 12 months, the likelihood of returning to gainful employment is approximately 2%.

According to a Conference Board of Canada report released in September 2013, the Canadian economy lost an estimated $ 16.6 billion due to absenteeism in 2012.

With these alarming statistics in mind, the importance of an effective disability management program to help reduce absenteeism, reduce the duration of a disability claim, and help employees remain healthy in the workplace can not be understated.

There are many elements to an effective disability management program, and I’ll spend the next several blog entries discussing some of the different concepts and considerations.  Disability management is a very complex and delicate matter, as it impacts both your organization and your employees.  On a positive note, it can also be one of the best ways to show your employees that you truly care about their well being and it sends a strong message of encouragement and support throughout your organization.

An effective disability management program can contribute to higher productivity and employee engagement by ensuring that employees with health issues can remain in the workplace and stay connected to their peers, thereby reducing time away from work, and potentially preventing a disability claim entirely.  It can also help an employee re-integrate back into the workforce more quickly after a leave of absence or disability.

Some of the most important elements of a good disability management program are awareness, disability prevention, health promotion, and an effective Return to Work (RTW) program or strategy.

My next blog post will discuss the topic of awareness as it relates to disability management within your organization.

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