Handling Disability Management Cases - Initial Responsibilities

Initial responsibilities in each case involving an injury, illness or disability depend on the nature of the case itself. Choose the scenario that applies to the situation:

Best practice tip: Managers do not decide whether an illness, injury or medical condition is work-related. If an employee says that it is, it should be treated as such unless or until a workers' compensation board rules otherwise. Likewise, if the employee becomes ill or injured while in the workplace (e.g., experiences a heart attack, allergic reaction, or other illness or injury requiring medical attention), the manager should proceed with the work-related process and complete the required forms.

Where a claim is allowed, the employee may receive injury-on-duty leave or income replacement benefits through workers' compensation benefits. Provincial rates for these benefits may be less than the employee's base salary. If eligible, the employee may be able to make up the difference from disability insurance plans (Disability Insurance or Public Service Management Insurance Plan Long-Term Disability).

Where a claim is not allowed by workers' compensation, applying for Employment Insurance Sickness Benefits and disability insurance plans helps to reduce the risk of interruption in income for a worker who is ill, injured or disabled.

Human Resources can advise when the employee should apply for Employment Insurance Sickness Benefits and whichever disability insurance plan provides coverage. When to apply for Employment Insurance Sickness Benefits will depend on the amount of sick leave the employee has accumulated. As a general rule, the application should be submitted immediately if the employee has less than 13 weeks of sick leave. This is the elimination period before a claimant may begin receiving income replacement under disability insurance plans.

Work-Related: Initial Responsibilities Checklist

When work-related injury or illness has occurred, managers must complete the following tasks.

For the Health and Safety of Employees

  • Ensure that the required first aid / medical attention has been given to the employee.
  • Verify that actions have been taken to make the work environment safe for employees and that any hazardous articles have been removed.
  • Certain incidents must be reported immediately to the organization's chief Health and Safety Officer and the Labour Program Occupational Health and Safety office of Human Resources and Skills Development Canada within 24 hours of the event. Proceed to Reporting requirements: Work-related injuries.
  • Contact the Occupational Health and Safety Officer for assistance.
  • In cases involving critical incidents, contact the EAP coordinator to arrange for Critical Incident Stress Management services for employees.
  • Be mindful that an employee's injury or illness may affect a unit's ability to meet operational goals and objectives. Determine whether performance expectations need to be amended in light of the employee's abilities, functional limitations and restrictions.

Satisfy Responsibilities Under the Treasury Board Policy on Workers' Compensation

  • Report the injury or illness to the Regional Injury Compensation Office, Labour Program, Human Resources and Skills Development Canada, within three days, as required. There is no obligation to report a work-related injury where only first aid is administered. Records of the date and type of injury, including those for which only first aid was provided, are to be retained in the workplace for two years. An employee who receives first aid may subsequently seek medical attention. Managers must file a report within three days of learning that an employee has sought medical attention for a workplace injury.
  • Notify the local Workplace Health and Safety Committee representative that an incident has occurred.
  • Create a case file and keep it in a locked cabinet to which access is restricted.
  • If the employee missed work on the day of the incident, record the hours lost on that day but note that the employer may be responsible to pay for time lost. Subsequent hours lost may be taken as sick leave with pay and may be converted to injury-on-duty leave once the claim is validated by the appropriate workers' compensation board. If the employee does not have sufficient accumulated sick leave, consult Human Resources.
  • If the employee remains in the workplace, follow up with the employee about his or her condition and continue to monitor the situation to determine whether any further action needs to be taken.
    • Whenever possible, work with the employee and other stakeholders (Human Resources, EAP, Occupational Health and Safety Advisor, conflict resolution resource, unions, medical practitioners, etc.) to enable the employee to remain at work or to return promptly to work. This may include an exploration of possible accommodation options that in some cases could enable the employee to remain in the workplace rather than having to use leave.
    • Review the employee's performance expectations for the current cycle to determine whether they need to be amended in light of information provided about the employee's limitations and abilities. For more information, consult a Performance Management Advisor.
    • If required, consult with EAP or conflict resolution resource for support in effectively planning for and managing difficult or emotional discussions that might arise related to the injury or incident.

Satisfy Obligations Under the Canada Labour Code, Part II

  • Complete a Hazardous Occurrence Investigation Report and submit it within 14 days following the incident, as per occupational health and safety reporting requirements, even if the incident seems minor. Consult with Human Resources for reporting protocol. Keep a copy of the report on file for future reference.

If the Employee Seeks Medical Attention or Does Not Return to Work After the Injury

  • Complete the provincial workers' compensation form (available through Human Resources or the provincial workers' compensation website) and submit it to the Regional Injury Compensation Office, Labour Program, Human Resources and Skills Development Canada, within three days of the incident.
  • Provide the employee with the information needed to obtain sufficient and effective medical information from the employee's medical practitioner.
  • Timing on starting the disability insurance (DI, PSMIP-LTD) claims process depends on the illness or injury and the employee's leave status. If the employee does not have much paid sick leave and there is a good chance that recovery will take more than 13 weeks, avoid delay.
    • Immediately, advise the employee to obtain the completed medical reports from their doctor, complete their portion of Disability Insurance application; and send the documentation to the insurer before the end of 13 weeks.
    • Complete the employer portion of the Disability Insurance application and send it to the insurer before the end of 13 weeks.
  • The employee should make sure that the insurer has all the necessary information before the end of the elimination period or before the end of the paid sick leave period.

Choose the Scenario That Describes the Situation

  • The employee comes back to work the day after the injury or illness without any functional limitations or restrictions. Proceed to End of the process.
  • The employee comes back to work the day after the injury or illness with functional limitations or restrictions. Proceed to Accommodation.
  • The employee does not come back to work the day after the injury or illness. Proceed to Work-related: Employee will go on leave.

Reporting Requirements: Work-Related Injuries

Work-related: Initial responsibilities checklist

Immediate

At least two distinct and separate procedures (and related forms and reports) are required when there is an illness or injury in the workplace. One procedure is for workers' compensation and the other is for occupational health and safety (OHS). The workers' compensation procedure is injury-oriented and governed by the Government Employees Compensation Act. It requires completion of an injured workers' compensation claim form.

The OHS procedure requires a report detailing the causes of an accident and recommending corrective action to make the workplace safer. This Hazardous Occurrence Investigation Report is required under Part II of the Canada Labour Code. In addition, employers must complete an Annual Hazardous Occurrence Report to describe the total number of injuries, fatalities and hazardous occurrences in a given workplace for each fiscal year. This report must be submitted even if there are no occurrences.

Certain work-related diseases or other hazardous occurrences that have one of the results charted in the following must be reported immediately to the organization's chief Health and Safety Officer and the Labour Program OHS office of Human Resources and Skills Development Canada no later than 24 hours after the event. Reports should include information regarding the date, time, location and nature of the incident.

Occupational Health and Safety Reporting Requirements

Immediate (no later than 24 hours)

  • Death of an employee (even if it appears to be from natural causes)
  • Permanent disabling injury of an employee, or temporary disabling injury of two or more employees from the same occurrence
  • Permanent impairment of a body function of an employee
  • An explosion
  • Damage to a boiler or pressure vessel that results in fire or rupture of the boiler or pressure vessel
  • Damage to an elevating device that renders it unusable, or a free fall of an elevating device

Within 72 hours

In the case of damage to boiler or pressure vessel, or elevating device:

  • Record in a log a description of the occurrence, including date, time and location
  • Include the causes of the occurrence and the corrective measures taken or the reason for not taking correctives measures
  • Send a copy of this record to the workplace health and safety committee or the health and safety representative

Within 14 days

If employee seeks medical help or does not return the day after injury, report:

  • Disabling injuries (temporary or permanent)
  • Electric shock, toxic atmosphere or oxygen-deficient atmosphere that causes an employee to lose consciousness
  • Rescue, revival or other similar emergency procedures
  • A fire or an explosion
Workers' Compensation Reporting Requirements

Within 3 days

Non-Work Related: Initial Responsibilities Checklist

In the case of an injury, illness or medical condition that is not work related, managers should do the following:

  • Have a conversation with the employee to clarify the situation as it relates to the employee's abilities, functional limitations and restrictions in the workplace. If applicable, provide information about EAP services.
  • If a case file does not exist, create one.
  • If required, consult with the EAP Coordinator or Conflict Resolution Advisor for support in effectively planning for and managing difficult or emotional discussions.
  • Whenever possible, work with the employee and other stakeholders (for example, Human Resources, EAP, conflict resolution services, unions, medical practitioners) to enable the employee to remain at work or to return to work in a safe and timely manner. This may include exploring available accommodation options that might enable the employee to remain in the workplace rather than having to use leave options.
  • Provide the employee with the information needed in order to obtain sufficient information from the employee's medical practitioner to support any accommodation requirements. Contact Human Resources for assistance in preparing this documentation.
  • Be mindful that an employee's injury or illness may interfere with a unit's ability to meet operational goals and objectives. Determine whether performance expectations need to be amended in light of the employee's abilities, functional limitations and restrictions.
  • Know the employee's duty to accommodate responsibilities. Proceed to Duty to accommodate.

Choose the Scenario That Describes the Situation

  • The employee will remain at work, needs immediate accommodation, and has sufficient medical information to support the accommodation. Proceed to Accommodation.
  • The employee will remain at work, needs immediate accommodation, but requires medical information to support the accommodation process. Proceed to Medical assessment.
  • The employee will go on leave. Proceed to Non-work-related: Employee will go on leave.
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