Morneau Shepell-sponsored study also finds room for improvement in the
communication of disability programs and employer investment in mental
health back-to-work programs
TORONTO, Oct. 28, 2013 /CNW/ - A new report released by The Conference
Board of Canada and sponsored by Morneau Shepell (TSX: MSI) concludes
that young workers and seniors are particularly vulnerable groups when
it comes to situations when they need to take time off work due to an
illness or disability. The report finds that fewer than 50 per cent of
workers in these age groups are covered by employer sick leave and
disability leave plans.
The Conference Board report, Disability Management: Opportunities for Employer Action, is the third in a three-part series of publications for which Morneau
Shepell was a major sponsor. The publication provides advice and
guidance for organizations to more effectively manage absenteeism,
which cost the Canadian economy $16.6 billion in 2012. The study also
highlighted that businesses have to assess what their employees need
when it comes to designing appropriate disability management strategies
"There continues to be inconsistency in what is offered by employers in
the areas of health and disability management," said Paula Allen,
Morneau Shepell's Vice President of Research and Integrative Solutions.
"Employers may not be fully leveraging some of the new developments
that have occurred in workplace health."
"Organizations are better off to look at a holistic picture of what
their employees need and build a health and wellness practice into
their everyday business that addresses those needs. It would be great
to get to the point where we don't need to use the term health program,
and instead health and disability management is built in as a basic
need for productivity."
The study also found that only 25 per cent of employees received
communications within the past year from their employer regarding their
organization's sick leave and disability programs. More than one half
of employees indicated that they don't know how to access the programs
and services provided by their employer to support their physical and
"In order for a disability management plan to be effective, it must be
clearly communicated and employees have to be engaged and aware. It's a
terrible waste when employers can't be sure that their employees in
need are getting support. It is not always clear who needs support and
when, and it's important that communication is ongoing or people will
fall between the cracks," added Allen.
The report also concluded that although employers have made significant
investments in the area of mental health coverage, it continues to lag
behind physical disability in the area of back-to-work programs. The
study found that 51 per cent of employees believe their organization
provides support to help employees with physical health issues return
to work as safely and quickly as possible, compared to 34 per cent who
believe that same support is in place for mental health issues.
According to Allen, "Given the high proportion of disability claims
related to mental health, the gap needs to shrink."
Morneau Shepell has been a leader in designing and delivering industry
changing disability case management solutions for organizations since
1998. The Company's case management addresses every type of disability
claim, typically starting from the fifth day of absence, through to the
return-to-work or the transition to long-term disability benefits, as
required. The focus is on workplace support and resolution of the major
drivers of employer costs and employee concerns, including mental
health, multiple diagnoses and challenging accommodation issues.
Morneau Shepell's integrative approach leverages multiple areas of
expertise in health, benefits, employee support, workplace health and
disability, to deliver seamless solutions for organizations.
About Morneau Shepell Inc.
Morneau Shepell is the largest company in Canada offering human
resources consulting and outsourcing services. The Company is the
leading provider of Employee and Family Assistance Programs, as well as
the largest administrator of retirement and benefits plans. Through
health and productivity, administrative, and retirement solutions,
Morneau Shepell helps clients reduce costs, increase employee
productivity, and improve their competitive position. Established in
1966, Morneau Shepell serves more than 8,000 clients, ranging from
small businesses to some of the largest corporations and associations
in North America. With approximately 3,300 employees in offices across
North America, Morneau Shepell provides services to organizations
across Canada, in the United States, and around the globe. Morneau
Shepell is a publicly-traded company on the Toronto Stock Exchange
(TSX: MSI). For more information, visit www.morneaushepell.com.
SOURCE: Morneau Shepell Inc.
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