While more than a third of disability claims under Canadian employer-sponsored benefits plans in 2022 were due to mental-health reasons, just two-thirds (63 per cent) of organizations are addressing this risk effectively, according to a new survey by Mercer.
The survey, which polled more than 100 organizations globally, found more than half (55 per cent) of Canadian respondents said they expect health and safety risks to impact their businesses in the next three years, compared to 74 per cent of U.S. respondents and 69 per cent of global respondents.
Canadian respondents ranked mental health as the No. 3 risk to their businesses and, while workforce exhaustion (ranked No. 16) is a contributor to mental-health issues, only 56 per cent of Canadian organizations said they’re currently addressing this risk.
Canadian respondents ranked the increasing cost of health, risk protection and well-being benefits as the No. 5 risk to their business, as a result of rising insurance premiums. However, just a third (31 per cent) of respondents said they currently have an effective, articulated cost containment strategy encompassing plan design, health risk management and insurance placement to manage benefits cost.
Although talent attraction, retention and engagement was ranked as the No. 2 risk by Canadian respondents, just 25 per cent said they currently have a competitive employee value proposition in place. Indeed, 61 per cent of Canadian organizations reported they’re adequately addressing their talent attraction, retention and engagement risks and fewer than two-thirds said they have the necessary data and analytics to monitor talent practices risks.
Human resources leaders ranked the changing nature of work as the third biggest risk for their organizations, while risk managers ranked it at No. 12. And while succession and key person risk was ranked fifth by HR leaders in 2021 — likely due to the retirement of baby boomers — it dropped to No. 19 this year, while risk managers ranked it at No. 7. In addition, half of all employer respondents said they’re currently addressing this risk.
Notably, only 30 per cent of Canadian respondents said they currently have effective digital first benefits administration and other talent management processes.