Illness related absences can significantly impact an
organization's productivity and be quite costly as a result. In
2011, Canadians took an average of 9.3 sick days, costing the
economy approximately $16.6 billion1. Accordingly, it is
important that short and long term disability claims be managed
effectively, with the express goal of safely returning the employee
to work, in a timely manner.
There are a number of advantages for an organization to contract
out the disability claims management process to a third party,
Managing the disability and return to work process can be a
full-time job. Utilizing a third party to manage the disability
claims process will allow the organization's human resources
department to focus their time on proactive and strategic HR
processes, which add value to the organization.
Third party claims managers have internal subject matter experts
who are knowledgeable about both physical and psychological
diagnoses. These individuals are trained in appropriate treatments,
time required for rehabilitation and can manage the entire process
through to return to work.
Additionally, third party claims managers have access to
benchmark data from other organizations and industries, allowing
them to make relevant determinations.
It is important that employees be treated fairly and
consistently. Third party claims managers are able to ensure
equitable treatment. Furthermore, both claimants and the
organization have one point of contact, in order to ensure that the
process remains on track.
It is important that claims managers remain neutral and
impartial. Having a third party manage the claims process will
ensure that decisions are made objectively.
5. Cost Control
Third party claims managers are able to offer flexible,
short/long-term plan designs, customized to the needs of the
organization. This will ensure that costs are contained and
Unfortunately, reasonable accommodation for employees in the workplace continues to be the source of significant litigation and even today we continue to see outrageous examples of employers behaving badly.
A former teacher at Bodwell High School has learned a valuable lesson from the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal— it is not discriminatory for an employer to offer child-related benefits to only employees with children.
We are now beginning to see reported cases involving charges and subsequent fines laid against employers for failing to provide information, instruction and supervision to protect a worker from workplace violence.
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