The Benefits of Disability Management Programs
Disability management programs provide a structured agreement between management and workers that, regardless of the cause of an injury or illness, facilitates early return to work without jeopardizing the health of the employee. Workplace-based programs minimize the economic, human and social costs of disability. Each party to the disability management process benefits. (See stakeholders for a detailed description of the parties involved and their roles and responsibilities.)
- Employees can continue to perform meaningful work, maintaining their income levels and securing their future pensions. Early return to work can facilitate physical recovery and benefit workers’ social and mental well-being.
- Employers retain valuable workers, restore labour force participation and reduce the negative financial impacts of disability. (See Cost Benefit of Disability Management.)
- Unions fulfill their roles in protecting members’ employability while maintaining hard-won rights and responsibilities.
- Governments retain taxpayers whose reliance on the social safety net is reduced.
There are huge economic benefits to having people be part of our productive society, rather than sitting on the sidelines getting disability payments. But the real focus must be on the human values. It is simply the right thing to do to not have accidents; and if we do have someone who becomes disabled, we must work together to get them back to work as quickly as possible. Tom Stephens, former president and CEO, MacMillan Bloedel