JointHealth™ insight – March 2017
Arthritis in the workplace: Are employers and employees speaking the same language?
In this issue of JointHealth™ insight, Arthritis Consumer Experts looks at the current state of arthritis in the workplace. Find out what makes the City of Ottawa and Aboriginal Peoples Television Network two of Canada’s best workplaces for employees living with arthritis.
In this issue, you will also find:
- A summary on arthritis in the workplace, including the latest statistics about the cost of work disability
- Suggestions on what kind of flexible work arragements would help workers with arthritis
- Key messages for employers
- Tips for employees living with arthritis
City of Ottawa and Aboriginal Peoples Television Network awarded for best arthritis workplaces in Canada
Award presentation to City of Ottawa (From left to right: Cheryl Koehn, ACE; Marianne Phillips, Director, Human Resources, Donna Gray, General Manager, Service Innovation and Performance Department, Mayor Jim Watson; Kelly Lendvoy, ACE)
(VANCOUVER) — To recognize the best arthritis workplace practices in Canada, Arthritis Consumer Experts (ACE) today announced the winners of its third annual search for Canada’s Best Workplaces for Employees Living with Arthritis.
Many Canadian workers struggle to find the right balance between work, family and personal responsibilities, particularly employees with chronic disease who are becoming an increasingly high proportion of the workforce due to aging, arthritis chief among them. Canadian employers who understand chronic disease, particularly the impact of a disease like arthritis, are implementing adaptations in their work environments to accommodate employees. Based on workplace insights shared by employees and company managers, ACE is awarding the City of Ottawa and Aboriginal Peoples Television Network for their arthritis awareness, prevention and benefits practices in the workplace.
Arthritis in the Workplace
Government of Canada issues Flexible Work Arrangements report
Working with patients to bring the right to request flexible work arrangements to Canada.
In May and June of 2016, Canadians participated in the online consultation of implementing a meaningful right to request flexible work arrangements under the Canada Labour Code. Stakeholders shared their expertise, concerns, ideas, and personal experiences through online surveys, written submissions, and roundtable discussions.
ACE participated in Flexible Work consulations carried out by the Department of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour, attending a regional roundtable in Vancouver and being part of a written submission from the Arthritis Alliance of Canada.
In its post consultation report, the Department made the following references to arthritis: Continue reading
ACE is searching for Canada’s Best Workplaces for Employees Living with Arthritis
To help kick off Arthritis Awareness Month in Canada, Arthritis Consumer Experts ACE) today announced the launch of the third annual Canada’s Best Workplaces for Employees Living with Arthritis. The judging criteria this year will particularly value those organizations providing an environment that meets the needs of employees living with arthritis to manage their disease and work with symptoms such as pain, fatigue, joint dysfunction or immobility.
“Smart employers know committed, productive teams require an environment where employees know they can balance work, family and personal responsibilities. In this third year of our award, we are looking closely at the availability of flexible work benefits and policies, as well as employees’ comments on their effectiveness,” said Cheryl Koehn, President and Founder, Arthritis Consumer Experts. “We want to recognize companies providing innovative flexible work arrangements to help employees with arthritis, and other chronic diseases, take better care of themselves, and in turn report less pain, fatigue, and disruption at work, allowing them to remain employed for longer.” Continue reading
A research team from the University of Calgary and Statistics Canada found that people living with osteoarthritis (OA) have almost twice the risk of losing work time due to illness or disability as those without OA. Furthermore, the researchers found that people with OA are three times as likely to become unemployed.
Combining the National Population Health Survey, the researchers selected 659 people with OA, matched them with 2,144 non-OA individuals on the basis of age and sex, and compared their reported work time loss from 2000 to 2010. Work time loss was 90% higher and unemployment tripled due to illness or disability among the OA patients after adjusting for sociodemographic, health and work-related status.
Osteoarthritis is by far the most common type of arthritis. It is estimated to affect more than 3,200,000 Canadians-about 1 in 10. The disease is the leading cause of chronic pain and loss of mobility in Canada and is associated strongly with diminished productivity and increased utilization of healthcare resources. Disease onset usually occurs during the working years. Continue reading
One of Canada’s Best Workplaces for Employees Living with Arthritis
(Left to right: Dennis Leung, Coordinator and Harro Lauprecht, Manager, SFU’s Return to Work/Disability Management Program; Monica Swanson, Manager, SFU Special Projects; Cheryl Koehn and Kelly Lendvoy of ACE)
Hello ACE members, subscribers and followers,
As a person with arthritis I know all too well how difficult in can be to deal with the daily realities of living with the disease and try to do a great job at work, even on days or times when I’m not feeling that well. Because what we do for work is a large part of our lives and we derive not only an income but a sense of personal satisfaction from our jobs, ACE wants to recognize employers in Canada who are dedicated to helping employees with arthritis remain gainfully employed.
It was with great pleasure that on January 28, 2016, ACE presented Simon Fraser University with it’s Best Workplaces for Employees Living with Arthritis award. One of Simon Fraser University’s (SFU) important goals is to maintain a healthy workplace for all employees, including those living with chronic diseases like arthritis. I am so encouraged by SFU’s approach to employee well-being and, in particular, the understanding, empathy and services they provide their employees living with arthritis. ACE is thrilled to be a resource to SFU and other employers in Canada to elevate disease awareness and education and explore ways to collaborate to help employees with arthritis live better lives at work.
Founder and President
Arthritis Consumer Experts
About Canada’s Best Workplaces for Employees Living with Arthritis
The Canada’s Best Workplaces for Employees Living with Arthritis program is a national campaign to help employers better understand arthritis in the workplace. Annually, ACE conducts the Canada’s Best Workplaces for Employees Living with Arthritis Awards, a coast-to-coast search to find and recognize three small, medium and large companies who offer exceptional workplaces for their employees living with arthritis. The recipients of the award is recognized for their efforts to make their work environments great for everyone, including employees living with arthritis – the most common chronic disease in the workplace.
About Simon Fraser University
Born in 1965, SFU has become Canada’s leading comprehensive university with vibrant campuses in British Columbia’s largest municipalities – Vancouver, Burnaby and Surrey – and deep roots in partner communities throughout the province and around the world. Simon Fraser University celebrated its 50-year anniversary in 2015.