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Richmond Hilll municipality case study executive brief

Richmond Hilll municipality case study executive brief

April 14, 2014

Background

Richmond Hill is a town located in Southern Ontario, with a population of approximately 170,000 people. The municipality employs 658 staff.

Challenges

Anticipating future rising benefits costs, driven in large part by an aging workforce and mental health issues, the municipality undertook a strategic and multifaceted approach to absenteeism. Its main focus was:

  • Prevention
  • Early intervention
  • Return to work

Solutions

Working in partnership with Morneau Shepell, its Employee and Family Assistance Program (EFAP) provider and Sun Life Financial, its wellness provider, the municipality rolled out a comprehensive and integrated program that includes:

Prevention

  • Health and nutrition workshops (targeted to suit employee demographic)
  • Subsidized fitness classes
  • Free membership at municipal fitness centres
  • Discounts for family members
  • EFAP (available through Morneau Shepell)
  • Strong focus on mental health
  • Public website access to all health and wellness program information

Early intervention

  • Preventative screening and health assessments
  • EFAP (available through Morneau Shepell)
  • Strong focus on mental health
  • Public website access to all health and wellness program information

Return to work

  • Extended Sick Leave Management Program (administered through Morneau Shepell)
  • EFAP (available through Morneau Shepell)
  • Strong focus on mental health
  • Public website access to all health and wellness program information

Results

Even with a very generous sick leave policy, the Town of Richmond Hill has a significantly lower absenteeism rate when compared against all other sectors including public, private, and other municipalities. In 2011, the number of days lost per employee was:

  • Richmond Hill municipality: 7.7 days
  • Municipal average: 10.5 days
  • Public sector average: 12.9 days
  • Private sector average: 8.2 days
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