A new research centre aims to develop evidence-based policy options that will allow Canada’s current disability policy system to provide better income support and labour-market engagement for people when they are injured, ill or disabled.

The Centre for Research on Work Disability Policy is located at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ont.

The new research centre is a seven-year initiative funded by the federal Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council.

Co-led by Drs. Emile Tompa and Ellen MacEachen, senior scientists at the Institute for Work & Health in Toronto, the centre includes regional hubs in British Columbia, Ontario, Quebec, and Newfoundland and Labrador.

The centre also involves 46 partners from across the country. These partners represent disability and injured worker community organizations, provincial- and federal-level disability support program providers, labour organizations and employers, and research institutions.

“We are bringing together academic talent from across the country and working closely with partners to identify a road map for the future of work disability policy in Canada,” says Tompa.

“More and more people with health conditions or impairments are falling into the grey zone of unemployment,” adds MacEachen. “They can and want to work, and need help to get there, yet may not qualify for work integration support from any one program. With our partners, we will do research to help us understand how this is happening and how our system might be improved to address it.”

According to Statistics Canada, about 2.3 million people in Canada between the ages of 15 and 64—representing one in 10 working-age Canadians—reported in 2012 that they were sometimes or often limited in their daily activity due to a long-lasting health impairment.

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Copyright © 2018 Transcontinental Media G.P. Originally published on benefitscanada.com

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