According to the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat (2011) “disability management focuses on absences from work as a result of illness, injury or disability, and on preventing the risks that cause these absences. It 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.”
There are three components of disability management, which are prevention, support for recovery and accommodation. These components reinforce each other by having benefits and services that are equally effective in the other components. An example of this is assistive technologies, which falls under accommodation, but in some cases is just as successful at preventing serious illness or injuries (prevention) or to prevent a relapse for an employee who has returned to work (recovery).
Disability Management has become such an important topic that in 2013, a Memorandum of Understanding was signed with the International Social Security Association (ISSA), a UN agency headquartered in Geneva, to better support the global implementation of best practice Return to Work Guidelines. Canada set up its own agency in 1994 called the National Institute of Disability Management and Research (NIDMR) that focuses on Education and Training, Workplace Program Implementation Support, Consensus Based Disability Management Audit, and Research and Policy Development, as well as a comprehensive electronic information resource that provides a wide range of data for employers, unions, and healthcare practitioners that can be utilized in their daily work.
Image Credit: [Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat] - The Three Components of Disability Management
National Institute of Disability Management and Research. (n.d.). New Global Partnership in Return to Work. Retrieved from http://www.nidmar.ca/news/full_story.asp?fid=154
National Institute of Disability Management and Research. (n.d.). What is the National Institute of Disability Management and Research? Retrieved from http://www.nidmar.ca/about/about_institute/institute_info.asp
Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat. (2011). What is Disability Management? Retrieved from http://www.tbs-sct.gc.ca/hrh/dmi-igi/fundamentals-fondements/intro-eng.asp