Presentation M P29

M P29 (Poster Presentation):
Implementation of a return-to-work / accommodation policy in a large employer

Presented by: Cameron Mustard


Skivington K1, Lifshen M1, Kosny I1

  1. Institute for Work & Health



Background: Over the past decade, increasing numbers of Canadian employers have adopted formal disability management policies. These policies define organizational roles and responsibilities to ensure fair and consistent practices in supporting safe and timely return-to-work. In this presentation, we describe manager and supervisor perspectives on the early stages of implementation of a return-to-work / accommodation policy in a regional hospital system in Ontario with 4,000 employees.


Methods: A qualitative study documenting the experiences of managers and supervisors in the first 18 months of the implementation of a comprehensive return-to-work and accommodation program. We conducted 30 semi-structured interviews with union return-to-work coordinators and manager/supervisors who had been involved in the planning and management of individual return-to-work episodes.


Results: In 2012, there were 226 RTW cases, involving 74 managers and 30 union return-to-work coordinators. Overall, interview participants were uniformly positive about disability management practices following the implementation of the new return-to-work / accommodation policy. They respected the role played by the Occupational Health Department in coordinating the planning and oversight of return-to-work episodes. Managers and union return-to-work coordinators acknowledged the value of training provided at the initiation of the policy and that communication and collaboration has been improving. Interview participants noted the value of the return-to-work planning meeting, involving the employee, manager, union representative and staff of the Occupational Health Department. Interview participants were confident in their understanding of the responsibilities of respective stakeholders.


Conclusions: In this large regional hospital system, managers and union return-to-work coordinators expressed positive views of progress in the early stage implementation a new return-to-work / accommodation policy. This case study is one element of a multi-component evaluation of the process and outcomes of an improved disability management program.

Schedule Details

Monday September 29
12:45 - 13:45 Poster Viewing
Session: Workplace