Workplace Disability ManagerDisability and Absenteeism

Pity the employer. It’s a beautiful summer’s day and—as a manager of a public or private sector workforce—a manager must grapple with increasing absenteeism. And according to Statistics Canada, an employee who is absent due to disability may require some management.

What is disability management and absenteeism?

Disability management is “…a deliberate and coordinated effort by employers to reduce the occurrence and effect of illness and injury on workforce productivity, and to promote employee attachment,” according to the Government of Canada Treasury Board of Secretariat.

Absenteeism, according to Stats Can report writers, refers to “absences that are avoidable, habitual and unscheduled.” The writers describe the absences as “disruptive to proper work scheduling and output,” “costly to organizations and the economy as a whole,” and annoyingly not easy to quantify because “the dividing line between avoidable and unavoidable is difficult to draw, and absenteeism generally masquerades as legitimate absence.”

Who is missing work and why?

Workplace absenteeism is way up, reports media such as CBC news, and the numbers indicate that more people are not coming to work. Government staff miss 4.5 times more work than their counterparts in the private sector, parents miss more work than non-child households, and women miss more work than men. Reasons for missing work include family issues, stress, and—if you want to believe the research of the University of Waterloo’s Mikal Skutefud—the irresistible environmental conditions of a perfect summer’s day.

But the most compelling statistic is that while employees are absent roughly 9 days per year, they lose almost eight of those days to illness or disability. This has employers concerned, of course, because it draws on the resources known as long-term disability benefits. How are employers managing you, your disability, and your lost days? By bringing in the absentee-fighting tactics of the disability managers, of course.

If you have been denied a disability claim due to absence, get a second opinion. For a free lawyer referral, call toll-free at 1-855-843-9729.

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