Few companies have a funding strategy to address the impact of future
TORONTO, June 20, 2013 /CNW/ - A survey of Canadian financial leaders
suggests that employee health, drug and disability costs have increased
significantly or are expected to rise. Yet only 15% of those surveyed
said that their company has considered a funding strategy to address
the impact of these future costs. Drivers such as an aging workforce,
the cost related to drug and disability plans, as well as legislative
changes were key issues, according to the new research study Banking on productivity: Managing employee health costs, conducted by the Canadian Financial Executives Research Foundation
(CFERF) and sponsored by Morneau Shepell.
"Canadian financial executives need to be aware of these emerging
demographic and health trends that will have a substantial impact on
the bottom line of Canadian businesses," says Michael Conway, Chief
Executive and National President of FEI Canada. "In order to address
the perfect storm of factors, CFOs will have a significant role to play
in maintaining employee health, while holding the line on costs and
ultimately improving productivity."
The Banking on Productivity: Managing employee health costs study is based on the results of an online survey of Canadian financial
executives that took place in February 2013, and was expanded with
insights gathered during an executive research forum that included
participants in Montreal, Toronto and Calgary on March 4, 2013.
Participants were drawn from a wide range of industry groups and
The survey found that employee engagement and recruitment challenges
stand out as major threats, with 56% and 50% of respondents rating
these respective factors as the greatest threats to productivity.
38% of the financial executives surveyed said they were accountable for
the human resources (HR) function in their organization and 85% had
some type of involvement with HR. All emphasized their role in working
with HR to predict and control costs. Health benefits were deemed the
greatest cost-related concern by most respondents. Short-term
disability was also on the radar of survey respondents concerned about
"The survey indicates clearly that health benefits costs are rising due
to various factors such as aging of the workforce. This trend will only
increase as new and more expensive drugs arrive on the market," points
out Paula Allen, Vice President of Research and Integrative Solutions
at Morneau Shepell. "Companies also need to be aware of the impact of
mental health issues on their bottom line. One third of disability
claims are mental health related," she added. "And mental health
disability claims are approximately one third more expensive than
physical health claims."
The study also indicates that employers should direct employee health
concerns to a third party or consultant, to protect employee privacy
and avoid concerns around discrimination. This will help shield
employers from liability, as they cannot be accused of discriminating
against an employee for health reasons if they are not aware of the
Click here to read the full study.
About the Canadian Financial Executives Research Foundation
CFERF is the non-profit research institute of FEI Canada. The
foundation's mandate is to advance the profession and practices of
financial management through research. CFERF undertakes objective
research projects relevant to the needs of Canada's senior financial
executives in working toward the advancement of corporate efficiency in
Canada. For more information, please visit feicanada.org.
About Financial Executives International Canada
FEI Canada is the all-industry professional membership association for
senior financial executives. With 11 chapters across Canada and 1,800
members, it provides professional development, thought leadership and
advocacy services to its members. The association membership, which
consists of chief financial officers, audit committee directors and
senior executives in the finance, controller, treasury and taxation
functions, represents a significant number of Canada's leading and most
influential corporations. For more information, please visit feicanada.org.
About Morneau Shepell
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 pension 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 3,000 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 public-traded company on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX:
MSI). For more information, please visit morneaushepell.com.
SOURCE: Morneau Shepell Inc.
For further information:
416-366-3007 Ext. 5114