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Effective disability management can reduce the impacts of absenteeism

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Absence & Disability Management / Canada

Effective disability management can reduce the impacts of absenteeism

Morneau Shepell-sponsored study highlights that disability management programs must focus on health promotion and disability prevention, in addition to helping employees get back to work

TORONTO, Oct. 8, 2013 /CNW/ - A new report released by The Conference Board of Canada and sponsored by Morneau Shepell (TSX: MSI) concludes there is a solid business case for implementing an effective disability management program to limit the negative effects of absenteeism. The report also points out that such a program must be comprehensive to be successful.  It must not only include strategies to help employees return to work but must also include health promotion and disability prevention activities.

The Conference Board report, Creating an Effective Workplace Disability Management Program, is the second in a three-part series of publications for which Morneau Shepell was a major sponsor.

"Organizations have traditionally focused on solutions that include monitoring information to determine when an employee should return to work, and tracking costs," said Paula Allen, Morneau Shepell's Vice President of Research and Integrative Solutions. "These are important things to do, but they're passive and not enough. Organizations have a clear opportunity to implement programs that better support an employee's return to work sooner, and address the reasons behind absence at an organizational level."

"Based on Morneau Shepell's direct experience with its clients, cost reductions of 15 per cent to 40 per cent are clearly achievable," continues Allen. "And both employees and supervisors are better supported in dealing with the challenge of work absence and disability.  It makes so much sense to be strategic and not passive."

Morneau Shepell's Senior Vice-President of Health Management, Jean-Marc Mackenzie, adds, "Absence and disability is an issue that impacts almost every employer. It's important to remember is that a fully effective strategy requires both prevention and professional disability management, as well as the expertise to drive change. Our commitment at Morneau Shepell is to make it easier and more seamless for organizations to manage all points in the health continuum, and achieve sustainable positive benefit."

Organizations providing data for The Conference Board study estimate the direct cost of absenteeism averaged 2.4 per cent of gross annual payroll in 2012, which works out to $16.6 billion.  This figure does not include indirect costs of absenteeism such as replacement costs for absent workers, administrative expenses or the negative effects on other workers or customers, suggesting the actual price tag is much higher.

Morneau Shepell has been a leader in designing and delivering industry changing disability case management solutions for organizations since 1998. The Company's case management addresses every type of disability claim, typically starting from the fifth day of absence, through to the return-to-work or the transition to long-term disability benefits, as required. The focus is on workplace support and resolution of the major drivers of employer costs and employee concerns, including mental health, multiple diagnoses and challenging accommodation issues. Morneau Shepell's integrative approach leverages multiple areas of expertise in health, benefits, employee support, workplace health and disability, to deliver seamless solutions for organizations.

For more information on Morneau Shepell, please visit:

About Morneau Shepell Inc.
Morneau Shepell is the largest company in Canada offering human resources consulting and outsourcing services. The Company is the leading provider of Employee and Family Assistance Programs, as well as the largest administrator of retirement and benefits plans. Through health and productivity, administrative, and retirement solutions, Morneau Shepell helps clients reduce costs, increase employee productivity, and improve their competitive position. Established in 1966, Morneau Shepell serves more than 8,000 clients, ranging from small businesses to some of the largest corporations and associations in North America. With approximately 3,300 employees in offices across North America, Morneau Shepell provides services to organizations across Canada, in the United States, and around the globe. Morneau Shepell is a publicly-traded company on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX: MSI). For more information, visit

SOURCE Morneau Shepell Inc.

For further information:

Cathren Ronberg
Morneau Shepell